Girl Trouble by Holly Goddard Jones

Girl Trouble

In Girl Trouble, acclaimed writer Holly Goddard Jones examines small-town Southerners aching to be good, even as they live in doubt about what goodness is.A high school basketball coach learns that his star player is pregnant--with his child. A lonely woman reflects on her failed marriage and the single act of violence, years buried, that brought about its destruction. In these eight beautifully written, achingly poignant, and occasionally heartb...

Details Girl Trouble

TitleGirl Trouble
Release DateSep 1st, 2009
PublisherHarper Perennial
GenreShort Stories, Fiction

Reviews Girl Trouble

  • ModCloth
    After graduating last May, I found myself beset by a predicament equal parts terrifying and thrilling. For the first time in a very long time, I was in charge of my own reading list. While I was at first hopelessly lost without the structure of a syllabus, it wasn’t long before I realized I could read anything I wanted! And while I love most of the literature I’ve read for class deeply and reverently, I’ve always felt as though I had to rus...
  • Hendecam
    This is a dark collection of stories where some pretty awful things happen to everyday people, yet the tales never come off as gratuitous. Instead, they focus on the inner lives of the characters as they deal with loss, tragedies, and other life-changing events. Each story is set in Roma, Kentucky, and my two favorites happen to be linked: “Parts” and “Proof of God.”In “Parts,” Dana continues to struggle with the loss of her daughter ...
  • Victoria
    I began reading this book as a recommendation from a professor at my school, who read the work after Jones guest-taught at my college for a semester. I was completely blown away, and read the book from start to finish over three days, in spite of it being possibly the most stressful time in my college career.The book is about a fictional small town in central to western Kentucky, called Roma. I myself am from a very small town in western Kentucky...
  • Ginger
    This collection was immensely enjoyable, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Absolutely riveting, true, and hard to read.I have never been one much for short stories, but lately I can't get enough. I picked this collection up years ago, upon the recommendation of some magazine I cannot remember (likely Garden & Gun), and it was indeed very southern, thru and thru.
  • Scott Sanders
    Wow, what a powerful writer. Holly Goddard Jones is one of those writers where I found myself saying, "Why haven't I read her before?" I'll certainly be reading more of her, that's for sure. Raw, tough stories that kept me fully engrossed.
  • hubsie
    I know this is normally my lesfic account, and this book is NOT in that genre. But I had so say something for my low rating. I was so depressed reading this. All of us in book club were confused and almost felt duped, we could not find any kind of meaning and many of us just couldn't finish it. I had really hoped it would turn out to be an empowering read, but all of the stories are heart-breaking.
  • Vivienne Strauss
    Wow. What a collection. I just happened upon this book at the library and am glad I did. Each one of these stories packs a mean punch much like the tone of Joyce Carol Oates but maybe pulled back just a fraction or perhaps just saving the final killing blow for after the end of the story, where the reader doesn't have to suffer it.
  • Benjamin Chandler
    This is an excellently written collection of stories. One of them may be added to my mental list of "Best Short Stories I Ever Read."The stories here are mostly tragic or unhappy ones, tales of people trying to get over the past or plow through the present. Boys and girls come of age, adults nurse their wounds, and sometimes they catch a glimmer of healing or briefly escape in the tangles of their lives.The real power behind the writing here is h...
  • Elise Hamilton
    Very well written and compelling stories, linked by their geographical location (Roma, Kentucky), and in two stories (Parts and Proof of God) by the characters and events. Each story provided a lot to think about, and I intend to read Girl Trouble again for exactly that reason. Since I have such a small amount of library space in my current house, I don't hang on to very many books, but this one is a keeper. I'm also going to read Goddard Jones' ...
  • Richard Thomas
    What a fantastic debut collection of stories. I read "Parts" online before this came out, and was hooked. I was lucky enough to get to know Holly a bit at Murray State University, and this is an emotional collection, powerful and dynamic. A must read.
  • Darcy
    I don't know if I would ever recommend this book to others, but it was important in my journey.
  • Mary
    Beautiful, marvelous, painfully wonderful collection. I'm a fan!
  • Sarah Hand
    Girl Trouble is a collection of short stories about the interconnected people in a small Kentucky town. Perhaps more accurately, it is a collection of character studies, exploring the complexities inherent in even the most seemingly simple people. Overall, the tone was morose and not light reading. Concepts that gave me pause:-Tying shame to sexuality superficially, but more astutely tying shame to intimacy and vulnerability-Missteps in relations...
  • Ly Madden
    2.5 stars. Wonderful turns - particularly notable for character work, some plot turns, and just as often critical missteps. Highlights: "Theory of Realty" (despite a poor b-plot), "Parts." "Retrospective" captures many of my problems with the book - moments of prose that feel deeply disconnected from its characters at the story's own expense with a devastating ending.
  • freckledbibliophile
    Review coming soon. Loved every story.
  • Ann Douglas
    A truly remarkable collection of short stories. Holly Goddard Jones has a gift for injecting sensitive characters into impossible situations. The results are mesmerizing.
  • Courtney Leblanc
    Jones keeps the readers engaged throughout the book, narrating these quiet yet disturbing stories about a rural Kentucky town.
  • Gabriel Valjan
    I’ll try to give a synopsis of each story without any spoilers, along with a sample quote to showcase the author’s writing. Holly Goddard Jones is a talented writer in the same way Richard Yates, Andre Dubus, and Raymond Carver convey the dangers of dead end streets in suburbia or domestic complacency. I don’t think of her as a regional writer, as some reviewers have in their reviews. Is that same accusation leveled at Tom Franklin, William...
  • Casey
    Girl Trouble, Holly Goddard Jones's debut collection (2009), is the third or fourth debut collection that I've read in row, though it isn't by any design. I suppose part of it is intentional; I have made a conscious effort to read new-ish collections by new-ish writers, so it's not a complete accident that I've read so many debut collections recently. Perhaps it's not completely fair to the respective writers, though, because inevitably I hold ea...
  • Michael
    I will admit that I am somewhat picky rating short stories. Only because there are separate stories, thus you have to make sure that the characters are developed, concise and it makes you appreciative of the content. Although there were some parts of the story that was not my favorite, it still was not forgettable. Jones has a way in pulling the readers in, luring you to sympathize with them. Each story left a memorable impression on me but I did...
  • Lobotomy42
    Girl Trouble‘s central focus on sexual suffering in a limited environment frees it from many of the dilemmas of contemporary short fiction collections. The women-centered stories share a frustration with all-permeating male sexuality which recalls similar pieces by Lorrie Moore and Miranda July, but with neither author’s penchant for wordplay and humor. The pieces do not drag with existential angst or vagueness. Although many types of sufferi...
  • Erin Tuzuner
    The unnameable, but certainly not unknowable emotions that lurk in the tall grass of envy, love, slow simmering resentment, and a tame bastard of meanness and ill figured spite is an excellent breeding ground for literature. Prosaic interludes meant to heighten the magnitude of the BIG EVENTS only to serve to illuminate the dust that filters an indoor sunset. The jerky dance of attraction and repulsion, one wobbly emotion leaning on the syntax, p...
  • kelly
    Very rarely does it occur when I love every single selection in a short story collection, and this is one such occasion. I literally loved every moment of this book. Jones has a way of writing in plain, everyday English that draws you in and doesn't let you go. I am from Nashville (one of the cities mentioned frequently in the book) and I spent many summers with relatives in Western Kentucky. There were so many times during this book when I found...
  • Sally Allen
    The fictional small town of Roma, Kentucky is the setting for this short story collection, just as it is for Holly Goddard Jones's subsequent novel, The Next Time You See Me. Roma, unlike other, overly romanticized, small towns, is neither quaint, nor supernatural, or even especially homey. The eight stories which unfold here are linked only by this ordinary and frequently bleak setting, with the notable exception of two: Parts and Proof of God. ...
  • Patrick Faller
    Jones's empathy for her characters comes through in each of these nine extended narratives. Jones rounds out her small-town setting without losing sight of her obligation as a storyteller--to responsibly and faithfully explore the motivations and consequences of the choices her characters make. She's as capable of rendering a mother's grief after the rape and murder of her only daughter and the subsequent dissolution of her marriage as she is of ...
  • Ethan
    I sometimes stop reading books because I don't like them. I rarely put down books for any other reason. Girl Trouble was one of those rare exceptions...I don't know that it was the place I was in when I started reading it, or if Holly Goddard Jones is just that good of a writer, but I actually had to stop reading the book halfway through because it was really getting me down. I'm definitely planning on finishing it when I'm feeling a bit less vul...
  • Alexa
    Holly Goddard Jones is one of the nicest, most intelligent people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. She was my Fiction professor for two semesters at Murray State University and I learned more from her than most of my other professors combined. I had no idea just how impressive her own writing was before I read her collection of short fiction. These stories are poignant, engaging, and truly heart-wrenching. I recommend this collection to a...
  • Michelle
    I love a good collection of short stories. The way the author can convey an entire world in small number of pages astounds me. I enjoyed this collection though it didn’t blow me away. The stories are solid, as is the writing, and in several of them I quite connected with the characters. The blue collar Kentucky setting is also vivid and tangible. Why I didn’t like these more I can’t really pinpoint. There was one story that did go on way, w...
  • J
    2 & 3/4*'s; the writing was good but the stories left me wanting. I couldn't relate or empathize with any of the characters and the author's voice didn't realy resonate with me. The read was not a complete waste of time but I did have to force myself to finish it.(FROM JACKET)A high school basketball coach learns that his star player is pregnant-with his child. The nightmare of a college student's rape and murder is relived by both her mother and...
  • Ellie
    In this collection of eight short stories, the author presents “troubles” that girls/women experience throughout life; the troubles she focuses on are immense and many of these short stories are dark and heartbreaking. Set in a small, rural town in Kentucky, each story focuses on a well-developed, complex character dealing with loss, tragedy, or some other life-changing event. While many stories left me wanting more, I think the author expert...