Little Girl Gone

Drusilla Campbell. Grand Central, $14.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-446-53579-3
Madora’s father’s suicide when she was 17 sends her on a path of drugs and partying, and into the controlling arms of Willis Brock, with whom she lives in rural seclusion until he brings home Linda, a pregnant, frightened teen he claimed to have seen begging on the street. Willis locks up Linda under the auspices of getting her clean, but after she gives birth, he sells her baby and keeps her imprisoned. The gullible Madora believes Willis’s reasons for keeping Linda and becomes friendly with a 12-year-old orphan named Django Jones, whose repeated unannounced visits threaten to unravel Willis’s secret. But it’s actually Django’s worldliness that inspires Madora to finally stand up to Willis. Campbell’s newest (after The Good Sister) explores themes of imprisonment—literal, emotional, and psychological. Madora is timid and easily manipulated, but readers will still sympathize, despite the contrived nature of her friendship with Django. Though Willis never seems quite as menacing as he’s supposed to, this works to the book’s advantage; if he were any scarier it would feel exploitative. Strong and touching, but little to hold onto. Agent: The Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency. (Jan. 31)
Reviewed on: 11/14/2011
Release date: 01/01/2012
Hardcover - 327 pages - 978-1-61173-348-8
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-446-57601-7
Open Ebook - 159 pages - 978-1-60941-744-4
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