Don’t read this book; listen to it. Trust me, it will be well worth your time.
Anne Heche is one of those actresses I have a hard time watching on screen. She always seems to be teetering on the edge of a place that I find painful and embarrassing to watch. She’s a good actress but more often than not seems too vulnerable, too immature, and just barely maintaining control, much like a teenager on the precipice of change, for better or for worse. But while this kind of performance doesn’t work for me on screen it definitely worked in this audiobook. Heche’s aching vulnerability, childlike innocence, and quiet intelligence brings Trish McFarland to life in a way that will linger with you long after the story ends.
On yet another forced Saturday outing to get out and “do things,” Trish McFarland, her mother, and brother are hiking one of the many trails on the Appalachian Trail. The forced family bonding and the push to get past the divorce and adjust to life in Maine inevitably leads to another unending fight between Mom and brother Pete. Wrapped up in battle, the two soon forget everything around them, including Trish.
Tired of the fighting and trying to get their attention, nine year-old Trish makes a much-needed mental and physical pit stop. In her attempt to catch up, Trish makes the pivotal decision to take a shortcut that leads her further into the woods and away from family, home, and safety. Unwilling to give up the fight to get home, Trish–armed with her radio and her love of the Red Sox pitcher Tom Gordon–battles her fears, uses her head, and maintains hope that she’ll make it back from her perilous journey to everything important.
Listeners will enjoy the description of the Appalachian Trail, its beauty and its dangers. They will root for Trish as she runs out of food, sustains injuries, and battles the elusive presence that is shadowing her, anxiously “turning the pages” to discover if Trish’s fortitude and faith in Tom Gordon will get her out of the forest or if she’ll remain forever lost.
Check the WRL catalog for The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon