Deep Girls tells stories that defy the conventions of young adult literature. The clichés of fictional relationships are tossed aside, and instead we read about girls whose relationships with their families are like the real relationships readers see in the world around them.
There are stories showing family members at their worst: a girl must stand up against expectations put on her by her parents and boyfriend; a sibling’s assault on a parent drives a young woman to dark thoughts, and admiration for a rule-bending classmate; an ill grandmother is cruel to her daughter.
There are stories about the search for strength: a father and daughter try to survive as a family after a tragedy; a family friend who was victimized by violence returns from a mental hospital; a mother shows her daughter the heart that lies beneath a passive exterior.
And there are stories about young women adjusting to their emerging sexuality (while reluctantly caring for a neighbour’s children, a teen turns her eyes to the kids’ father), and that of their parents (a father and daughter take a trip to a bar, and each turns their attention elsewhere).
Deep Girls is an astonishing collection of stories that are rich in tone and emotional complexity.