The Girls of Charity
by Latosha Downs

"It’s everyone’s dream to fit into a world that hates you."

There are many quotes regarding the idea that when one is faced with adversity, and not conforming to the social norms set by society, that one should rise above it and embrace one’s individualism. These slogans are meant to be a source of inspiration when it seems like life can’t get any worse. The story that Downs paints is of a similar vein. Six girls—Marley, Leeanna, Summer, Lauren, Amanda, and Madison—have lost their parents (in one fashion or another), and are struggling to survive in a town that is prejudiced against their upbringing in an orphanage called Charity Home.

The author brings to life characters that a young, female audience will easily relate to, both in their personalities, relationships, and personal struggles with the inhabitants of Charity, Connecticut. The reader gets to see the girls develop and grow throughout the years, as they move from childhood (for a couple of the girls), to teenagers, and finally adulthood. They all have their own dreams that they wish to pursue and fight against the odds to win. The stories are rich, complex, and full of love and loss, with a hint of romance and a fairytale-like ending. The novel embodies a compelling message of a sisterhood and friendship that goes beyond blood ties—a family by choice and not by blood. The author’s novel is a quick and easy contemporary read that will be instantly snatched up and enjoyed by young female readers who are looking for a book reminiscent of a modern fairytale.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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