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BookBrowse Reviews Women and Children First by Alina Grabowski

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Women and Children First by Alina Grabowski

Women and Children First

A Novel

by Alina Grabowski
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  • First Published:
  • May 7, 2024
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The sudden death of a teenage girl links together ten monologues by women who knew her in Alina Grabowski's moving debut novel.

After Lucy Anderson falls to her death at a high school party, no one in Nashquitten, her gloomy, rain-battered hometown on the Massachusetts coast, seems to be quite sure what happened. Did she jump? Was she pushed? Or, as someone with epilepsy, did she have a seizure in the wrong place at the wrong time? The town is no stranger to teen deaths, but Lucy's has more troubling ambiguity than the drunk driving and overdoses which have become routine. Across ten chapters narrated by ten different female voices, Women and Children First draws a sharp portrait not so much of the ambitious, mercurial teenager—but of the community that let her slip away.

Each narrator has her own relationship to Lucy, be it close or tenuous. There's Jane, a classmate who "knew of her"; Rae, an older family friend; Brynn, her grieving mother, who provides the novel's most affecting moments. As the ...

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Beyond the Book:
  Epilepsy

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