Beautiful Girls is a dazzling debut collection about the secret lives of girls and women. The characters who inhabit Beth Ann Bauman's stories are the timid, the not-quite-fabulous, the public school Ophelias, who yearn for something grander than their current lot. These stories illuminate the search for love, friendship, connection, and identity.
In "True," an exquisitely shy teenage girl tries to fathom the hidden secrets of beauty from a boy who's "the prettiest person in the entire school." A lonely divorcee in "Safeway" wanders the darkened aisles of a grocery store during a power outage, and becomes "certain a touch of rot had taken root in her heart...and that she still might live better." In "Wash, Rinse, Spin," a hapless young woman loses her laundry and must resort to the decrepit wardrobe she wore while working in B movies, as her dying father fades in her hometown. And in the title story, voracious girls who long for love and admiration compete in a town pageant.
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