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As She Grows Lesley Anne Cowan

As She Grows

Lesley Anne Cowan

Published
ISBN : 9780143170600
Paperback
292 pages
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 About the Book 

As She Grows is a disturbing novel--not just because it deals with teenage pregnancy, alcoholism, mental illness, and abuse, but because its clear that the author, a secondary-school teacher who works with at-risk youth in Toronto, has actually metMoreAs She Grows is a disturbing novel--not just because it deals with teenage pregnancy, alcoholism, mental illness, and abuse, but because its clear that the author, a secondary-school teacher who works with at-risk youth in Toronto, has actually met teens as messed-up as 15-year-old Snow. Left as a newborn to the care of her beer-swilling, delusional grandmother, the streetwise narrator of Lesley Anne Cowans compelling first novel initially appears to be doing okay. Snow attends her Toronto public school regularly, where she makes respectable Cs and once got an A+ on a math test. She shops and cooks for her grandmother Elsie and cleans up after her benders. Elsie calls her a slut, but Snow does have a steady boyfriend, albeit a 18-year-old drug dealer with a penchant for slapping girls around. Shes even taking swimming lessons in memory of her teenaged mother, who supposedly drowned. Most importantly, however, Snow is a realist. She sees her world for what it is and is rarely taken in by anyone. But when an unexpected pregnancy and a series of nasty personal revelations strip Snow of her few sustaining illusions, these slender resources prove not to be enough. With grim honesty, Cowan tracks one troubled teens descent into a hell of isolation and despair, where cutting her own skin becomes a logical response to the pressures of adolescence and infanticide seems to offer a way out. For those with the stomach for its message, As She Grows is a powerful and deeply convincing portrait of the kind of teenaged girl most people would avert their eyes from on the street. --Lisa Alward