Spooky Girl

Jenny Rowan is a bit of an odd duck, but considering what she's been through, she's surprisingly normal. Abducted at eight and with very few memories of her life before that, she was a man's sex toy until she escaped to live in a mall. After a while, she was picked up by protective services, which did a poor job of protecting or serving her. Jenny quickly sued for emancipation and worked her way through college to a position as a video editor for a Washington, D.C. television station.  That's where we find her at the start of  Others of My Kind by James Sallis.  Jenny's solitary existence is broken by the arrival of Jack, a detective who somehow knows about her closely-guarded past.  He asks for her help with a young woman who was similarly abducted and abused. In the background several events of national importance take place, and Jenny assembles video about them, but she is so far inside herself most of the drama barely registers.

Others Of My Kind is a melancholy, almost elegiac book firmly rooted in the noir tradition. Its main theme is about picking your self up and getting back on the horse. As one of the squatters in the building next to Jenny's tells her when she asks him where they will go when the property is condemned, they will go somewhere else. The  more one knows about Jenny, the more deeply strange she seems, but her outlook makes sense with what she's been through. It's a survivor's view of the world. A good book for a rainy day, or when you want a protagonist outside the box.

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