Review: A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing

22457037Title: A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing

Author: Eimear McBride

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada

Publication Date: September 2014

ISBN: 9781476789026

A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Not so much a stream-of-consciousness, as an unconscious railing against a life that makes little sense, and a shocking and intimate insight into the thoughts, feelings and chaotic sexuality of a vulnerable and isolated protagonist, A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing plunges inside its narrator’s head, exposing her world firsthand. This isn’t always comfortable—but it is always a revelation.

Touching on everything from family violence to religion to addiction, and the personal struggle to remain intact in times of intense trauma, McBride writes with singular intensity, acute sensitivity, and mordant wit. A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing is moving, funny, and alarming. It is a book you will never forget.

Maybe it’s just me, but I couldn’t get into this book at all. The story is so compelling and awful at the same time. It deals with tough topics including sexual abuse and death and many of the scenes are hard to stomach. But the presentation, the delivery, was so jarring and disjointed, I’m amazed that I got much out of this book at all. This experimental, stream-of-consciousness style was often disconnected and jolting. Jumping around between pronouns and thoughts, it’s often difficult to know exactly who the narrator is addressing and what she is experiencing. I didn’t feel as though this added to the story. I felt that it could have been a much stronger book in a more straightforward delivery. I’m all for stream-of-consciousness. When done correctly, it can make for an excellent book. But in the case of This Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, the style made it difficult to read and interpret. I feel as though I missed some major plot points and character development.

I’m giving this story 3 stars because the story itself was so compelling. The protagonist is abused by the men in her life. She’s raped, beaten, and taken for granted. On top of it all, her brother is struggling with a tumor and her mother is a religious fanatic. I wish I could have enjoyed it more. Had it not been so disjointed, I think this story could have really moved me.

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