Tuesday Book Club: “Lonely Girl” by Lynne Vincent McCarthy
In light of the recent tragedies of violence against women in Australia, including the rape and murder of young comedian Eurydice Dixon, and the suspected murder of Sydney woman Qi Yu, Andrew brought in “Lonely Girl” by Lynne Vincent McCarthy. All of Ana’s family members have passed away, and the only thing she has left in the world is her dog River. When River is diagnosed with cancer and due to be put down, Ana decides to end her life the same day as River’s ends. On her final night, Ana goes for a walk and witnesses a woman being dragged into a van, and what Ana believes to be a consensual encounter takes place. The next day, Ana wakes up ready to leave the world behind her, but is stopped when she discovers that the woman she saw last night has been found dead. Later, she encounters the man who she saw at the murder site on the night in question, and runs him over with her car to avenge the woman’s murder.
This is the premise for a thriller novel that explores the way it feels to constantly be expecting violent behaviour. While it’s not the experience of all women, the book creates empathy and understanding for the experiences of many women in Australia, and how violence can alienate a person from themselves.
If you or anyone you know needs help, please contact Lifeline on 1800 RESPECT, or 131 114.
Have a read of Tess’s article “It’s About Time Men Understood How Damn Scared Women Are”.