Lead Review (Women and Children First)

  • Book: Women and Children First
  • Location: Massachusetts
  • Author: Alina Grabowski

Review Author: tripfiction




Women and Children First by Alina Grabowski

A teenager – Lucy – dies after a house party and members of her community search for answers. Her death is the pivotal point around which the characters circle, but the emphasis is on the stories of ten women rather than Lucy’s fate. Each woman has some connection to the deceased, and each has a different slant and take.

Small town dynamics are central to the story, which the author captures very well. A chapter is devoted to each woman, building on the notion that the women in this community form the backbone of life. There are many life issues with which they have to contend.

The author has a very nice writing style, she is gifted at portraying a claustrophobic, decaying yet verdant setting, which I enjoyed but I think the construct – one chapter per woman – made the whole narrative feel quite fractured and somehow incomplete, a start-stop which, although the stories often blended, felt ultimately frustrating. I think it was quite a daring choice of story development for a debut novel.

It is interesting to see how the title came about given the storyline…..

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