Tomato Girl (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

After reading Tomato Girl, the most accurate phrase I can think
of to describe it is heart-wrenching. To watch the ugliness of a
mother's mental illness unfold, through the eyes of her 11 year old
daughter, is both enlightening and terrifying. When you come out on the
other side of this novel, you feel as though you have an understanding
of how light can come out of a horribly dark situation. I found Ellie
to be an insightful narrator, struggling to understand an adult world
that is far from normal. Good for those who liked Southern gothic
authors Carson McCullers and Kaye Gibbons.

— Jessilynn


For eleven-year-old Ellie Sanders, her father has always been the rock that she could cling to when her mother's emotional troubles became too frightening. But when he comes under the thrall of the pretty teenager who raises vegetables and tomatoes for sale at the general store that he runs, Ellie sees her security slowly slipping away. Now she must be witness and warden to her mother's gradual slide into madness.

Told from Ellie's point of view, Tomato Girl takes the reader into the soul of a terrified young girl clinging desperately to childhood while being forced into adulthood years before she is ready. To save herself, she creates a secret world, a place in which her mother gets well, her father returns to being the man he was, and the Tomato Girl is banished forever. Tomato Girl marks the debut of a gifted and promising new author who has written a timeless Southern novel.

About the Author

Jayne Pupek, who lives near Richmond, is a Virginia native and a former social worker. Though Tomato Girl is her first novel, her writing has appeared in many literary journals. She is the author of a book of poetry titled Forms of Intercession.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781565124721
ISBN-10: 1565124723
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: August 26th, 2008
Pages: 298
Language: English

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