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Girls of Tender Age

Mary-Ann Tirone Smith grew up in small town America during the 1950s. In many ways it was a typical rough-and-tumble childhood, but a killer would change Mary-Ann's life and that of her home town forever. Mary-Ann comes from an extended French-Italian family - her mother, always on the verge of a nervous breakdown; her adoring father, the cornerstone of her childhood; and her numerous uncles, aunts and cousins, who parade through her life with love, food and endless stories of the old days. And then there's Tyler, her autistic brother, a Boo Radley to her Scout. Hanging over this world is the shadow of Bob Malm, who lurks throughout Mary-Ann's joyous and chaotic family portrait, until one night when the havoc he causes irrecoverably alters her world. "Girls of Tender Age" is one of those rare books that for ever changes its readers because of its beauty, its power and the harrowing crime at its heart.
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'[An] extraordinary memoirA...[with] energy, wit, passion and narrative thrustA... I became so utterly absorbed in the little lives and large tragedies of Smith's characters that if George Clooney himself had walked into my house, I swear I'd have grumbled for the interruptionA... A riveting social document'Val Hennessy, Daily Mail'This story of a joyous French-Italian American family and a horrific crime is perfectly synchronised as tragicomedy'The Times'You are on to a winnerA...this childhood is well-told and full of sweet detailA...exceptionally sharp' **** RecommendedCraig Brown, Mail on Sunday'Her engrossing and humane book resonates with clarity and conviction'Good Book Guide

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