Betanda Shanam Reviews Wayward Girls @ClaireMatturro

Wayward Girls

Claire Matturro and Penny Koepsel

August 10, 2021

Red Adept Publishing

Blurb: When late-night phone calls summon Jude Coleridge and Camille Prescott back to the Talbot Hall School for Girls, painful memories bombard them. Though estranged for years, both bear the physical and emotional scars from their youth.

At the boarding school, they were branded “the crazy girls, the ones who lie” and became unlikely best friends. They soon formed a trio with a new student, Wanda Ann, who pulled them into her bewildering relationship with the school psychologist, Dr. Hedstrom. But Wanda Ann’s wild stories masked a truth that threatened to engulf them all.

As teens, the girls could only rely on each other as they moved toward an unfathomable, fiery danger. Now, in the crumbling halls of Talbot, hours before the building’s demolition, they must grant forgiveness, to themselves and others, if they are to move forward.

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Wayward Girls highlights the vulnerability of children, young adults, and anyone who does not follow ‘normal’ development or ‘acceptable’ behaviour. Those who don’t feel they belong are normally the ones targeted by bullies and abusers. The authors Claire Mutturro and Penny Koepsel covered the subject of abuse and torture in a sensitive manner that was not too graphic for the reader but maintained the seriousness of the horrendous acts.

Jude and Camille are both sent to a boarding school for girls on the recommendations of a psychologist, Dr. Hedstrom, who reports that their behaviour is too inappropriate for mainstream school and their parents cannot control them any longer. From the start of the book the authors’ description of the school and its teachers warns you of the horrors that await the girls.  Feeling isolated, the girls make a mixed- match friendship group that binds them together for life. When Wanda Ann arrives at the school with a short, cropped hairstyle and wild stories of torture and abuse at her previous school, events start to unfold and Jude and Camilie find themselves caught up in Wanda’s previous life. They have no one they can trust, as Dr Hedstrom has seen to it that everyone sees the girls as delinquents that look for trouble and cannot be trusted. 

A gripping well written story that will tug at your heart strings.

I give Wayward Girls 4 stars

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

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