Thursday, March 9, 2023

The Home for Wayward Girls by Marcia Bradley

 While other adolescent girls are listening to grunge rock or swooning over boy bands and movie stars, Loretta knows little of life beyond the Home for Wayward Girls, the secluded ranch where her parents run a program designed to “correct” teen girls’ “bad behavior.” Some new residents arrive with their moms and dads, while other are accompanied by transporters—people paid to forcibly deliver these “problem” teens—girls caught swearing, smoking, drinking, or kissing. Many are failed runaways desperate to leave their controlling and sometimes brutal homes. Few have any idea of the suffering that lies ahead.

Loretta witnesses firsthand how the adults use abusive discipline to crush these young women’s spirits and break their wills. She understands these girls’ pain and shares it. Since childhood she’s been afraid of her father, and avoids him by spending time with the residents, secretly teaching them the survival skills they’ll need in case they manage to escape. Until the day a horrifying act of violence forces her to make her own terrible choice. Terrified and with no other option, Loretta flees the ranch and hitchhikes across the country, ending up in New York. Eventually finding safety and a sympathetic community, Loretta dedicates herself to working with lost, vulnerable, and defenseless teens, determined to prevent the same thing from happening to other girls like her.

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Marcia Bradley earned her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College after receiving her BA from Antioch University Los Angeles. She was awarded a Bronx Council on the Arts/New York City Department of Cultural Affairs BRIO Award for Fiction and has been published in Two Hawks Quarterly, Hippocampus Magazine, Drunk Monkeys, Electica, the Capital Gazette, and in The Writing Disorder. A natural born wanderer, Marcia grew up in Chicago and moved to Santa Monica where she raised her daughters. She now teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in the Bronx, New York.

I recommend this emotional read. The are calling it historical fiction and I know a few of you don't like Historical but it is not in my mind its more women's fiction. I will say this you are gong to want to read this one.