Gridley Girls by Meredith First is a semi-autobiographical story of a young girl’s entrance into adulthood as she begins her freshman year of high school in the small town of Gridley, California. The drama, the bully, the romance and the finding yourself among the sea of people is the center of this coming of age story.
The story is told between the past (summer 1978 to the summer 1979) and the present (2008). The story opens with a prologue Meg as she discusses her friends. Friends since preschool, they grew up together, did everything together, until the beginning of high school when the social pressures threaten to split them apart. In 2008, Meg’s friend, Anne Marie is getting married and is experiencing pre-wedding jitters as Meg is experience a potential life changing decision which will take her family from everything they know. Anne Marie is searching fixated on the events year of their freshmen year. As the story switches between past and present, clues are given to what is triggering the nostalgic walk down memory lane.
Gridley Girls is a great story of nostalgia to the author’s hometown and her lifelong friends. It is heartwarming and may bring memories of your childhood coming of age time. The story is reminiscent of Now and Then, My Girl and other great stories about the time in your life when you leave childhood behind and face adulthood head on. Heavy topics of abortion, sex, sexual orientation, alcoholism and other topics all teenagers face are presented. These topics are discussed with realism and sincerity. I highly recommend Gridley Girls.
is available on Amazon
in paperback $17
on the Kindle $9.49