Book Review Wednesday: The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (5 stars)

Posted: October 15, 2014 in Book Reviews
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Another Stephen King book. Not sure how many that makes it this year, but I’m getting through them. Right now I’m at 72 books read this year, and have two more Stephen King books (The Long Walk and The Green Mile) that I’ve read but not reviewed yet. So look out for my reviews of those and other books over the next month.

While I wouldn’t say The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is my favorite Stephen King, it is right up there. It’s a shorter book – only 264 pages – and is one of his milder ones.

Here’s the blurb:

Nine-year-old Trisha McFarland strays from the path while she and her recently divorced mother and brother take a hike along a branch of the Appalachian Trail. Lost for days, wandering farther and farther astray, Trisha has only her portable radio for comfort. A huge fan of Tom Gordon, a Boston Red Sox relief pitcher, she listens to baseball games and fantasizes that her hero will save her. Nature isn’t her only adversary, though – something dangerous may be tracking Trisha through the dark woods.

Trisha is an engaging character, which is just as well since we spend most of the book with just her. She’s someone determined to try and make the best of things by playing the chipper little sister to her downer brother who seems to complain about everything. You know those annoying kids who insist everything you’re doing is wrong and ‘life is so against me,’ ‘it’s not fair,’ ‘all I want is to have my every whim catered to, is that so much to ask?’ Yup, he is one of those. I’ve met a few of those in my time, and even though I spent a relatively small amount of pages in his company I felt sorry for Trisha and her mother. In his favor though, Trisha going missing does seem to push him out of his selfish mode, and he does have his reasons – though I don’t think there’s enough to be THAT much of a brat.

Trisha turns her determined mindset to getting herself out of the mess she’s gotten herself into. She makes a lot of good choices, but being nine years old she makes some bad ones too and those result in her wandering further away from safety. And of course since this is Stephen King there’s something very creepy following her. Despite trying to keep her chipper attitude she goes through a lot of being scared, but there’s a moment at the end where she finds her courage. You really feel like she achieves something in that moment, like all that hardship has made her a stronger person.

One of the biggest criticisms I’ve heard about this book is to say that a child that young wouldn’t survive so long alone in the woods. I disagree. A while ago I read an article about a six year old who lead three two year olds, one three year old, a 14 month old to safety after hurricane katrina, while carrying his five month old brother. Kids can and have done amazing things. They can have surprising adaptivity and determination to survive.

I’d say if you like survival stories and like Stephen King then read this one. Don’t expect as much gore as his usual books, though there is a little. For more reviews on this book check out:


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