The Year of Needy Girls (Kobo eBook)
A Lambda Award finalist that “recalls both Hellman’s The Children’s Hour and Lehane’s Mystic River in a story about murder and false accusations” (The Bay Area Reporter).
Bradley, Massachusetts, is in many ways a typical small New England town, but a river divides it in half—on one side, the East End: crowded triple-deckers, the Most Precious Blood parish, and a Brazilian immigrant community; and on the other, the West End: renovated Victorians, Brandywine Academy, and families with last names as venerable as the Mayflower.
Deirdre Murphy and her partner Sara Jane (SJ) Edmonds have just moved to their first house—and for the first time are open in their relationship—in the West End, where Deirdre teaches at Brandywine Academy. A dedicated teacher from a working-class background, she is well loved by her students. But the murder of ten-year-old Leo Rivera from the East End changes everything—for Deirdre and SJ, for the girls at Brandywine, and for all of Bradley. And when Deirdre is falsely accused of sexually molesting one of her students, the entire town erupts.
“From a landscape peopled with supportive neighbors, coworkers and lovers of all types, Smith erases the certainty underlying characters’ beliefs and sets them tumbling into chaos. The Year of Needy Girls is an intelligent and captivating read that will spur readers to question their own truths.”—VA Living Magazine
“Smith conveys the impact of this prejudicial hostility on two young women who are struggling to make their way in an intolerant world with a tender and delicate understanding in this nuanced tale of identity and misperception, connection and alienation.”—Booklist
“A provoking read.”—Publishers Weekly