The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is Trisha McFarland, 9, the daughter of divorced parents and sister to a 13-year-old brother who epitomizes everything that’s obnoxious about teenagers.
One Saturday, Trisha’s mother takes both children on hike along the Appalachian Trail. Near a fork in the trail, Trisha stops to pee while her mother and brother go ahead, arguing.
Afterward, instead of returning to the trail, Trisha cuts across the woods to join them. She has no watch, so she can’t tell how long she has walked before she realizes she’s lost.
Trisha’s parents never taught her that when you’re lost, you should behave like a good dog: Stay. Trisha keeps moving, making choices that lessen her chances of being found. She is followed by what might be a monster, or her vivid imagination.
Days, she carries on imaginary conversations with Tom Gordon to keep up her morale. Nights, she listens to the Boston Red Sox games on her Walkman until sleep comes.
Aside from the fact that Stephen King makes Trisha sound 19 instead of 9, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is a satisfying 20th century version of a fairy tale: A dark, harrowing experience that, despite its happy outcome, will induce nightmares.
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
By Stephen King
Scribner. ©1999. 224 p.
1999 bestseller #8; my grade: A-
©2020 Linda G. Aragoni