Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

‘The Wild Girls’ by Pat Murphy

leave a comment »

Joan moves to a hew housing development on the outskirts of town with her unhappy nuclear family. Playing in the woods outside she meets Sarah, a girl her age who enjoys a more unconventional lifestyle that Joan finds liberating. Their relationship is somewhat strained when the holidays end and they have to go to school where Sarah is the Weird Kid. Joan finds herself straddling two worlds; tame on the outside, wild on the inside. It is actually rather conventional in its endorsement of unconventionality – particularly in its climax where the pair enter a short story competition – but it is charmingly done.

There is absolutely no reason to include a story like this in Witpunk though. Usually with a story like this a genre writer will sneak in one ambiguous scene and try and pass it off as slipstream. Murphy gestures in this direction but doesn’t follow through. She makes no similar figleaf gesture towards humour here so the editors must have just bought it on the grounds they needed anything they could lay their hands on.

Murphy appears to have recently transformed the story into a novel for children which is a much better fit.

Quality: ****

Written by Martin

15 December 2009 at 11:12

Posted in short stories

Tagged with ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: