July 2014 Indie Next List
“I have not read such a stinging portrayal of female friendship since Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye. The relationship between Mia and Lorrie Ann is a wonderful example of how things are never as they appear on the surface and of the secrets and truths we hide from both others and ourselves. Mia and Lorrie Ann's journey will leave you heartbroken in the best way.”
— Liberty Hardy, RiverRun Bookstore, Portsmouth, NH
Why did Lorrie Ann look graceful in beat-up Keds and shorts a bit too small for her? Why was it charming when she snorted from laughing too hard? Yes, we were jealous of her, and yet we did not hate her. She was never so much as teased by us, we roaming and bratty girls of Corona del Mar, thieves of corn nuts and orange soda, abusers of lip gloss and foul language.
An astonishing debut about friendships made in youth, The Girls from Corona del Mar is a fiercely beautiful novel about how these bonds, challenged by loss, illness, parenthood, and distance, either break or endure.
Mia and Lorrie Ann are lifelong friends: hard-hearted Mia and untouchably beautiful, kind Lorrie Ann. While Mia struggles with a mother who drinks, a pregnancy at fifteen, and younger brothers she loves but can t quite be good to, Lorrie Ann is luminous, surrounded by her close-knit family, immune to the mistakes that mar her best friend's life. Then a sudden loss catapults Lorrie Ann into tragedy: things fall apart, and then fall further and there is nothing Mia can do to help. And as good, brave, fair Lorrie Ann stops being so good, Mia begins to question just who this woman is, and what that question means about them both.
A staggeringly honest, deeply felt novel of family, motherhood, loyalty, and the myth of the perfect friendship, The Girls from Corona del Mar asks just how well we know those we love, what we owe our children, and who we are without our friends.
About the Author
RUFI THORPE received her MFA from the University of Virginia in 2009. A native of Corona del Mar, California, she currently lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and son. The Girls from Corona del Mar is her first novel.
Praise for The Girls from Corona del Mar:
"Rufi Thorpe had me at the first line in her funny, sad, delightful debut novel, The Girls from Corona del Mar. A story about friendship, love, loss, and the sheer unexpectedness of life. Reading this book was like getting to know old friends; I was sorry when I turned the last page."
—Anton DiSclafani, bestselling author of The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls
"Rufi Thorpe's open-hearted, open-eyed debut tells the engrossing story of a long friendship between two complex women and investigates the unpredictable, often baffling ways that luck shapes all of our lives. Generous, soulful, and tough."
—Maggie Shipstead, bestselling author of Seating Arrangements and Astonish Me
“I could say this is a remarkable debut by a gifted new voice in fiction; or that it’s a beautiful, nuanced portrait of a difficult friendship; or that it has something entirely new to say about how we approach and occupy motherhood. But really, what’s most impressive is its incredible vitality, its searing intensity. Turn off your phone and let it take you.”
—Ann Packer, bestselling author of The Dive from Clausen’s Pier and Swim Back to Me
“The Girls from Corona del Mar is one of those rare books that breaks down the wall between reality and fiction; the entire time I read this book I ached as if it were my own best friend whose life was unraveling before me. Day and night I thought of her—I still think of her! Rufi Thorpe is a brilliant writer and this is a beautiful first book.”
—Vanessa Diffenbaugh, bestselling author of The Language of Flowers
“The Girls from Corona del Mar is unflinchingly realistic in its portrayal of life's twists and turns. Yet it's also full of heart. As Thorpe chronicles a complicated friendship across decades, continents and reversals in fortune, she brings to life two unforgettable characters.”
—J. Courtney Sullivan, bestselling author of Maine and The Engagements