Georgia Tate cuts her vacation with her father short when he touches her innapropriately. She tells her grandmother who comes to get her right away. Foolishly thinking she's protecting Georgia from embarassment, she does not tell her husband what has happened. Georgia doesn't offer to tell him either. It doesn't matter much until her grandmother dies and Georgia's grandfather thinks she should live with her own dad instead of take care of an old man like him. Georgia is afraid to tell her grandfather the truth and reluctantly agrees to live with her father.
Georgia manages to avoid her father's advances until one night he gets drunk and rapes her. She knows he has crossed the line and she seeks refuge with the transvestite who lives in her apartment building. He convinces her to talk to her grandfather and eventually the police. Her grandfather sends money for her to take a bus home. Unfortunately, her grandfather gets into a car accident before she arrives and is in the hospital instead of picking her up at the bus station. The novel ends on a hopeful note with her and her grandfather reuniting and recognizing that they are a family.
This is a very disturbing, haunting novel. I've begun to read things differently--I used to always identify with the teen protagonist but lately I've started to identify with the parents too (*gasp*). I just can't fathom how a parent could ever hurt a child like that. I think this was even harder for me to read now that I've crossed that line (the parent line). This is not an easy read, but it's well worth it. I think high schools girls will eat it up, but middle school girls could benefit from this as well. If Georgia had been honest with her grandfather, this tragedy could have been prevented. Sadly there are lots of girls that are probably in the same situation and don't know how to get out.
Reading: Before Wings -- Beth Goobie
On My Nightstand: a bunch