Holly Goddard Jones
Harper, Sep 1 2009, $14.99
This eight story collection “answers” the Beatles question in Eleanor Rigby: “Where do all the lonely people go?”; they go to Roma Kentucky. Each tale focuses on a person(s) who has personal moral issues relating to others that bring their own ethics into question like the father of a son accused of rape (title tale) or married with a newborn basketball coach’s star pregnant with his child (“Life Expectancy”). The entries are quite good, but the locale can feel repetitive as it limits the environment; as such this reviewer suggests reading GIRL TROUBLE over a couple of weeks. The best short stories especially worth reading together are the insightful duality entries of "Parts" and "Proof of God"; the same incident the vicious murder of a young girl is told by her mother and her killer. The townsfolk make Holly Goddard Jones’s compilation worth a visit to Kentucky.