Review: The Girls from Corona del Mar by Rufi Thorpe

The Blurb

A fiercely beautiful debut blazing with emotion: a major first novel about friendships made in youth and how these bonds, challenged by loss, illness, parenthood, and distance, either break or sustain.

Mia and Lorrie Ann are lifelong friends: hard-hearted Mia and untouchably beautiful, kind Lorrie Ann. While Mia struggles with a mother who drinks, a pregnancy at fifteen, and younger brothers she loves but can’t quite be good to, Lorrie Ann is luminous, surrounded by her close-knit family, immune to the mistakes that mar her best friend’s life. Until a sudden loss catapults Lorrie Ann into tragedy: things fall apart, and then fall apart further – and there is nothing Mia can do to help. And as good, kind, brave Lorrie Ann stops being so good, Mia begins to question just who this woman is and what that question means about them both. A staggeringly arresting, honest novel of love, motherhood, loyalty, and the myth of the perfect friendship that moves us to ask ourselves just how well we know those we love, what we owe our children, and who we are without our friends.

The Review

The Girls from Corona del Mar is a book that explores the intimacy of female friendship. The story focuses on Mia – a girl who, by all accounts, hasn’t had an easy life. However, she is bizarrely envious of her best friend Lorrie Ann. Lorrie Ann’s life is, on the surface, much worse than that of Mia yet Mia puts Lorrie Ann on a pedestal. As always, when you place someone among the gods then they are going to let you down by not being able to live up to your expectation.

In theory, the story should work. Books about friendship are – in my opinion – often more interesting than your regular romance books. I believe that the love between two friends holds a different kind of depth. Yet I don’t feel like I got that from The Girls of Corona Del Mar. I felt that the story was too narrative heavy and that Thorpe went off onto trivial tangents. I became bored reading them and felt that they were completely unnecessary. It took me a while to get back into the rhythm of reading once the story had been brought back to topic.

However, I did like the link to historical figures. I thought that the stories of Inanna were interesting and I would have liked to have seen more of this, less narrative and more dialogue.

The Girls from Corona del Mar by Rufi Thorpe is available now.

The Girls from Corona del Mar

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