BLURB FROM THE COVER
‘The world has teeth and it could bite you with them anytime it wanted. Trisha McFarland discovered this when she was nine years old. Lost in the woods.’
Trisha has only veered a little way off the trail. But in her panic to get back to the path, Trisha takes a turning that leads into the tangled undergrowth. Deeper and deeper in the terrifying woods.
At first it’s just the bugs, midges and mosquitoes. Then comes the hunger. For comfort she tunes her Walkman into broadcasts of the Red Sox baseball games and the performances of her hero Tom Gordon.
As darkness begins to fall, Trisha realises that she is not alone. There’s something else in the woods – watching. Waiting . . .
THE WORLD had teeth and it could bite you with them anytime it wanted. Trisha McFarland discovered this when she was nine years old. At ten o’clock on a morning in early June she was sitting in the back seat of her mother’s Dodge Caravan, wearing her blue Red Sox batting practice jersey (the one with 36 GORDON on the back) and playing with Mona, her doll. At ten thirty she was lost in the woods. By eleven she was trying not to be terrified, trying not to let herself think, This is serious, this is very serious. Trying not to think that sometimes when people got lost in the woods they got seriously hurt. Sometimes they died.
I’ve read The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon several times though not for years. I love the title of this short little novel. The title gives away absolutely nothing about the novel and even implies it might be love story. Very clever Mr King.
On the surface The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon seems to be a deceptively simple story. A girl gets lost in the woods. You can guess what happens. However, in his usual style King offers something much deeper with The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. I love the way King gradually builds tension and suspense. Trisha is quite calm at first and confident she will find her way back to the path. As she gets more and more lost, the novel takes on darker and darker tones and becomes quite unsettling. I love the contrast of light and dark in The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.
I think King created a very real world in The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. I could easily imagine a real girl getting lost in the woods and stumbling deeper and deeper into the woods, overcome and delirious with hunger and cold. King gave me shivers down my spine with The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. This novel focuses on psychological horror and trauma rather than supernatural ones. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is one of King’s very few ‘straight’ novels.
There is only thing about The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon that just doesn’t work for me. Trisha is hunted through the woods by a bear. King makes the mistake of giving the bear supernatural elements (i.e. Trisha feels something has drawn a circle around her when she’s asleep somehow marketing her out and scaring off other predators). Trisha imagines the bear is some kind of wasp god! There is a scene towards the end when she prepares to fight the bear that I found ludicrous. Why couldn’t it just be a hungry bear looking for dinner?
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is a very good novel. King offers us something different than his usual stuff.