Join BookBrowse today and get access to free books, our twice monthly digital magazine, and more.

Excerpt from Factory Girls by Michelle Gallen, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Factory Girls

by Michelle Gallen

Factory Girls by Michelle Gallen X
Factory Girls by Michelle Gallen
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Nov 2022, 304 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Maria Katsulos
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Thursday, 2 June 1994
74 days until results

Maeve Murray was just eighteen years old when she first met Andy Strawbridge but she knew he was a fucker the minute she laid eyes on him. In fairness, she'd expected it. He was an Englishman who drove into the town for work. Nobody knew him, but everyone knew of him. She'd heard the stories about him taking his pick of the factory girls, offering them lifts home where he'd park his Jag up some lonely lane so he could get a blowjob from whoever was belted into the front passenger seat. She'd tried to listen to the stories with only one ear, for she knew the people spouting that shite about Andy would've said the same of Father McGowan, who wasn't fit to find his mickey for a pish.

But when Maeve stood face to face with Andy Strawbridge in his office in the factory, she knew every last word she'd heard about him was true — and was probably only half the story. She'd come prepared, slouching in like she already worked there, with her hair scraped into a ponytail and not a lick of make-up on her face. She'd dressed in baggy grey joggers and one of the fleeces her mam bought by the dozen in the Primark sales. She looked like a lump of dropped dough in that get-up.

But Andy still looked at her like he'd fuck her. Like he'd already fucked her.

Maeve stuck her hand out at him. "Hi, Mr. Strawbridge. I'm Maeve Murray."

Andy leaned back in his chair, smirking, his crotch bulging in the fanciest pair of trousers Maeve'd ever laid eyes on. She dragged her gaze back up to his face. He'd clamped a pen between his teeth the way Hannibal off The A-Team clenched a cigar. Now Maeve understood why Maria McCanny, Dervla Daly and the rest of them talked shite about Andy Strawbridge. But she didn't get why nobody'd warned her that he was a ride. Then she realized her hand was still stuck out and Andy had no intention of shaking it. She took a massive reddener, feeling even the cheeks of her arse glow.

"Well, Maeve Murray. What can I do for you?"

The snotty English accent woke Maeve up. Fuck you, she thought — fuck you and the horse you rode in on. She sat down, took out her CV and tossed it on his desk. Then she took out a fag and lit up like she was the frigging boss.

"I'm looking into the factory for a summer job. My CV will tell you everything ye need to know. If you want a reference, ye can chat to the principal out in St. Jude's."

Andy didn"t touch her CV. Instead, he sat licking her with his eyes.

Maeve was well used to bucks his age gawping at her down the town, eyeing her up in the pubs. But most fellas that deep into their thirties were fat and filthy. Andy was in great shape. And he knew it.

"Tell me. What's not in the CV?"

Maeve blew a tunnel of smoke at his desk, playing for time, mulling over what she thought she knew about herself. She'd a suspicion she had terrible taste in men. She hoped she was smarter than she looked and more sophisticated than she sounded. She'd a notion she was good at blowjobs — a performance she'd perfected early in order to distract fellas from the Holy Grail of her Blessed Virginity. She dreamed in secret of writing for a fancy magazine in a swanky office in London by day and living by night with a depressed, dark-eyed musician who'd only feel alive when he was alone with her. She couldn't wait to get out of the shitty wee town she'd grown up in and had learned everything she needed to know about burning bridges from her sister, Deirdre.

She knew it'd be a bad idea to share too much of this information with Andy Strawbridge. "My A-level results aren't in my CV yet. When they come out in August, I'm getting the frig out of this place."

Andy leaned his chair back to tipping point. His shirt was open at the neck. Maeve's eyes jumped from button to button, following them like stepping stones all the way down. He caught her looking. Of course he did.

Excerpted from Factory Girls by Michelle Gallen. Copyright © 2022 by Michelle Gallen. Excerpted by permission of Algonquin Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Women and Children First
    Women and Children First
    by Alina Grabowski
    After Lucy Anderson falls to her death at a high school party, no one in Nashquitten, her gloomy, ...
  • Book Jacket: Henry Henry
    Henry Henry
    by Allen Bratton
    Allen Bratton's Henry Henry chronicles a year in the life of Hal Lancaster. Readers already ...
  • Book Jacket: The Last Murder at the End of the World
    The Last Murder at the End of the World
    by Stuart Turton
    The island is the only safe place left on Earth. Since a deadly fog overtook the planet, the ...
  • Book Jacket
    A Kind of Madness
    by Uche Okonkwo
    The word "madness," like many others that can be used to stigmatize mental illness — e.g., "...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
The Pecan Children
by Quinn Connor
Two sisters deeply tied to their small Southern town fight to break free of the darkness swallowing the land whole.
Book Jacket
Look on the Bright Side
by Kristan Higgins
From the author of Pack Up the Moon comes a funny, romantic, and moving novel about life's unexpected rewards.
Win This Book
Win Bright and Tender Dark

Bright and Tender Dark by Joanna Pearson

A beautifully written, wire-taut debut novel about a murder on a college campus and its aftermath twenty years later.



Solve this clue:

A W in S C

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.