The Flood Girls- Richard Fifield
Fiction – Contemporary
Published January 5th 2016 by Algonquin Books
I did not expect to get as invested in this book as I did. I actually didn’t even realize I was invested until the end when I threw my book against the wall in protest.
What’s It About
The Flood Girls are a community softball team in Quinn, Montana, population: 956. Rachel Flood has finally returned to the town she left 9 years before as teenager to make amends for her past. Except nobody wants to hear it, especially her mother Laverna. Rachel is about to call in defeat when her mom is the target of a robbery and her injuries require Rachel to run her mom’s bar, The Dirty Shame, and take right field on Laverna’s softball team. With the help of her neighbor, a local kid named Jake, Rachel is finally on the path to making things right.
The journey of Rachel is extremely interesting but most of the struggle is off stage. When she returns to Quinn and The Dirty Shame she never really feels the urge to drink, or at least we never see it if she does. She has only been sober a year and acts like her struggle is over, the worst thing is when she picks up the habit of smoking again. I understand this and the need for her to be level-headed in a town full of crazy but I enjoyed her honest flashback moments so much that it made me want more of them.
What I did absolutely love was the town of Quinn. The way the minor characters come together despite all of their differences and quirks felt very real to small town life. As much as you hate one another you hate outside people more. Best of all is Jake. As much of a stereotype as he is, he still felt very real to small town life. He worships at the throne of Madonna, has a very individual sense of style and fashion that leads him to sewing his own clothes to be more colorful, and is wise beyond his years in dealing with Rachel. His feminine manner infuriates his brutal and awful stepfather. Jake is one of the few residents willing to give Rachel a chance you can’t help but fall in love with him because of it.
I wouldn’t call this a laugh-out-loud comedy by any means but it is genuine and strong debut for Fifield.
“No,” said Jake. “That’s the old Rachel.” He accentuated this by pointing a french fry. “I’ll tell you something. Rachel is one of the smartest women I’ve ever met. You’re lucky. It was an awful day when i finally realized my mother was not intelligent. My mom might be a nurse, but she’s an idiot.”
“I’ll always be an alcoholic,” said Rachel. “And I’ll always be a hillbilly,” said Jake. “We all have our crosses to bear.” He finished the hem with a flourish.
Probably not because this was a library book, but I’m looking forward to Fifield’s next book.