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About the Author

Meg Tilly is the author of Singing Songs (Dutton 1994) and Porcupine (Tundra 2007), a children's book. Formerly an accomplished actress, Ms. Tilly is best known for her role as Chloe in The Big Chill and the title role in Agnes of God, for which she won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in 1986, as well as an Oscar nomination. She lives with her family in British Columbia.


Tilly's second novel arrives more than a decade after Singing Songs and more than two decades after the author's defining roles as Chloe in The Big Chill and as the title character of Agnes of God. But Tilly's not wasting any time-less than halfway through the first chapter, her 12-year-old title character is well into graphic descriptions of the systematic rape she's endured since she was eight. By the end of chapter two, she's been kidnapped by the man to whom her mother's boyfriend had nonchalantly sold her for sex. And by the end of chapter three, he's been collared in turn by the criminal justice system. The second half of the book sees Gemma taken in by a generous and capable foster mother who grew up with similar abuse, and who encourages her to tell her story at trial. Tilly leaves them awaiting a verdict. While this is in some ways an effective novel, its directness has a lot in common with social services pamphlets and with child pornography. Its intentional artlessness may be valuable to those who have been through the worst and are recovering, but for unwary readers lured by the sunny pink cover, and particularly for young readers untouched by these issues, it presents real NC-17 horrors. (Oct. 1) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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