"I was stealing saltshakers again. Ten, sometimes twelve a night, shoving them in my pockets, hiding them up my sleeves, smuggling them out of bars and diners and anywhere else I could find them. In the morning, wherever I woke, I was always covered in salt. I was cured meat. I had become beef jerky. Even as a small, small child, I knew it would one day come to this."I was in the middle of two other books when I walked past Tupelo Hassman's first novel, Girlchild, on our newly released hardcover fiction table. The library card over the trailer-home in the desert photo caught my eye and I picked it up and started reading:
"Mama always hid her mouth when she laughed. Even when she spoke too gleefully, mouth stretched too wide by those happy muscles, teeth too visible. I can still recognize someone from my neighborhood by their teeth. Or lack of them. And whenever I do, I call these people family. I know immediately that I can trust them with my dog but not with the car keys and not to remember what time, exactly, they're coming back for their kids. I know if we get into a fight and Johnny shows up we'll agree that there has been 'No problem, Officer, we'll keep it down.' "From there I couldn't put it down. This is a dark, compelling, and poignant novel about a young girl and aspiring girl scout trying to escape the history of the women of her family and escape the Calle, a mobile-home town outside of Reno full of white trash, drunks, and the danger of being from a long line of damaged women.