February 2009 book selection

Jayne Pupek has generously offered to give away an autographed copy of this book. If you are interested in signing up for the drawing, click here (and enter Tomato Girl in the subject line). I will select a winner at random on December 1.

Tomato Girl is the second novel written by Jayne Pupek. Before writing she spent many years working in the mental health, she is also an activist for ‘Animals in Need’.

I found this book on EDIWTB while searching for books to add to my ‘to be read’ list. This is an amazing story, I couldn’t put the book down. The reader is plunged into the middle of a family with so many problems and no end in sight. The subplots in this novel are dark and sometimes disturbing, yet it’s a light read when written from the perspective of an eleven year old girl. I really enjoyed reading this book and there is a lot to discuss for book groups.

Type: Fiction, 298 pages, hardcover
Reader’s guide: Yes
Recommend for book club: Yes

For eleven-year-old Ellie Sanders, her father has always been the rock that she could cling to when her mother's emotional troubles became too frightening. But when he comes under the thrall of the pretty teenager who raises vegetables and tomatoes for sale at the general store that he runs, Ellie sees her security slowly slipping away. Now she must be witness and warden to her mother's gradual slide into madness.Told from Ellie's point of view, Tomato Girl takes the reader into the soul of a terrified young girl clinging desperately to childhood while being forced into adulthood years before she is ready. To save herself, she creates a secret world, a place in which her mother gets well, her father returns to being the man he was, and the Tomato Girl is banished forever. Tomato Girl marks the debut of a gifted and promising new author who has written a timeless Southern novel.

‘Absorbing, unsettling…{An} accomplished debut” – Publisher’s Weekly