• The Shore Girl

The Shore Girl


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978-1-927063-17-0 | 2012 September | 232 Pages


• Canada Reads 2014 Top 40 list!

Rebee Shore’s life is fragmented. She’s forever on the move, ricocheting around Alberta, guided less than capably by her dysfunctional mother Elizabeth.

Fran Kimmel's The Shore Girl follows Rebee from her toddler to her teen years as she grapples with her mother’s fears and addictions, and her own desire for a normal life. Through a series of narrators—family, friends, teachers, strangers, and Rebee herself—her family’s dark past, and the core of her mother’s despair, are slowly revealed.

• Winner of the 2013 Alberta Readers' Choice Award!

”Rebee Shore is a bittersweet creation: heart-rending yet utterly unsentimental, a frail warrior who both distresses and disarms everyone who encounters her—including the reader.“
~ Annabel Lyon, author of The Golden Mean

”An absorbing and searing portrait of a young girl lost in a fleeing journey of desperation, secrecy, loneliness, wanting, hope and compassion.“
~ Michael Davie, author of Fishing for Bacon

“In this compassionate novel, Fran Kimmel achieves a delicate creative rendering of loneliness: solitary strangers looking for the promise that you don't have to end like you started. Her characters lodge deep in the reader long after the last page is turned.”
~ Rosemary Nixon, author of Kalila

“Raw and heartbreaking.... Kimmel's debut will appeal to those who are drawn to dark, gritty family dramas, rife with vulnerable characters in turmoil.”
~ Quill & Quire

The Shore Girl's kooky yet realistic characters, true-to-life smells and sounds and scenes conjure up an unidealized world both familiar and alien. Like Harmony's van speeding through Wild Rose Country, it leads the reader into an in-depth examination of human emotions and motives.”
~ Laurie Glenn Norris, Telegraph-Journal

“[Rebee's] life is constant chaos, a fact reinforced by the book's fractured narration.... Though she remains a mystery to nearly everyone who crosses her path, we gradually piece together Rebee's backstory and watch her mature, and The Shore Girl slowly unfolds its tragedy.”
~ David Berry, National Post

The Shore Girl is a surefire winner.”
~ Catherine Ford, Calgary Herald

“Somehow, [Kimmel] has taken a set of circumstances that are usually treated in sentimental, tiresome terms and knocked the cloying clichés off them.”
~ Jennifer Quist, author of Love Letters of the Angels of Death

“... a novel that continues to haunt well after it’s finished.”
~ Annie Vigna, FreeFall Magazine

“In a literary world that’s becoming more akin to Hollywood every day, a book like Kimmel’s—one that asks a little from its readers—should be held dear.”
~ Rick MacDonnell, Another Book Blog

“I would love to see this book in the hands of a teenage girl. I would have loved to have read it when I was 16. I’m still really glad I did at 33.”
~ Laura Frey, Reading in Bed

The Shore Girl is ultimately hopeful. It’s about connection, the small and unfathomable ways we touch each other and thereby save each other.” 
~ Carin Makuz, Reading Recommendations Reviewed

The van’s got a big bash. It’s all crumpled at the front like a Kleenex box when you kick it. My car seat smells like apple juice. I want a drink. I want a drink but I don’t tell. Big girls can wait.

How did the van get broke? Mommy won’t talk. Mommy is quiet. We go bump, bump, bump. There are bad noises under the van. Shaking my car seat. The trees whoosh. Then the trees go away. Fences. A big barn, maybe for chickens. Mommy’s teeth chatter. Mommy’s cold. I give Mommy my yellow blanket but she says no.

Turn on the lights. I can’t see the cows. Mommy, turn on the lights.

The headlights are broken, Rebee. We’re invisible. Lay back and close your eyes.

Mommy is sad. Are you sad, Mommy? How did the headlights get broke? How did your face get blood on it?

Go to sleep now, Rebee. Be a big girl. Close your eyes and dream about cows.

I have a feather in my hand. It’s soft like bunny’s ear. Bunny. Where’s bunny?

Shit, shit, shit.

Can I have bunny please?

Sorry, baby, bunny’s gone. We left him at the motel.

Go back. Go back. I want BUNNY!

We can’t go back, Rebee. We can’t ever go back.

And I cry and cry and cry.