- The Girl in Between by Sarah Carroll
ISBN 978-0-7352-2860-3 $16.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 6–9
Our nameless narrator lives with her down and out mother in an abandoned city [End Page 446] grain mill she calls “the Castle,” which is where they moved after her mother promised they’d never sleep on the streets and she’d never drink again. The girl loves the Castle, but it’s looking like Ma’s breaking her second promise, and it also looks like there are construction plans afoot for the mill that will mean the end to safety there. Can the girl save her mother and her home? The narrator writes affectingly of her desperate life of hanging on to her troubled mother and finally finding some peace when they stayed with Gran, only to lose it after an argument. While the setting is unspecified, the details and the authorial voice reflect the writer’s native Ireland. There’s a Shyamalanesque twist that most readers won’t see coming but that adds poignancy to the story, and it will send audiences rereading to frame the narrative with their new knowledge. Twist or no, though, this is a heartbreaking story of a girl who never really had a chance, and readers will find her memorable.