When She Was Good

When She Was Good Norma Fox Mazer s remarkable story of two sisters fighting to survive against a world without caring reissued in a th anniversary paperback edition to coincide with Mazer s new novel in hardcover

  • Title: When She Was Good
  • Author: Norma Fox Mazer
  • ISBN: 9780590319904
  • Page: 451
  • Format: Paperback
  • Norma Fox Mazer s remarkable story of two sisters fighting to survive against a world without caring, reissued in a 10th anniversary paperback edition, to coincide with Mazer s new novel in hardcover.In the sad, shabby trailer where Em Thurkill lived her first fourteen years, suffering her father s alcoholic rages and her mother s deathly silence, and in the three she liveNorma Fox Mazer s remarkable story of two sisters fighting to survive against a world without caring, reissued in a 10th anniversary paperback edition, to coincide with Mazer s new novel in hardcover.In the sad, shabby trailer where Em Thurkill lived her first fourteen years, suffering her father s alcoholic rages and her mother s deathly silence, and in the three she lived trapped with her violent, unstable sister, there seems than enough to end even the dream of hope.Yet Em Thurkill s story is a story of how hope outlives brutality It is a story of one girl s sweetness, and almost unbearable pain Heartbreaking, mesmerizing, and ultimately transcendent, this novel is a tribute to the astonishing resilience of the human soul.

    One thought on “When She Was Good”

    1. I praise thee, Norma Fox Mazer, for creating my favorite fictional character ever. I will always remember the feelings this book gave me, and I will always remember the part where Em was describing how she looked into the lake and saw the moon reflected in it, and the children were laughing in the back round- and all she could think was "This is what I am missing in life." I think that this is truly good writing. The way that Em looks at the world is so very relatable, I feel like if she actuall [...]

    2. I tried to connect with this book, I just couldn't, I cannot read a book that is so depressing, I finally threw it on the floor and gave up.

    3. "When She Was Good" was an okay book. It's about a 17 year old girl named Em, whose abusive older sister, Pamela just died. Em is all alone and struggling to survive. Her father was a raging alcoholic and her mother a person sunk deep into depression. Em lives with her sister's insulting shouts ringing through her brain whenever she thinks of something Pamela would think of as stupid (meaning everything.)She's trying to find a job, finish school, and get food on the table all the while just look [...]

    4. The book is told through the first person point of view of Em. The character experiences things that shouldn’t happen to kids/teens of her age. People wouldn’t normally think of a lot of kids who go through Em’s experiences every day. The vibe you get from Em isn’t hard to point out when you first meat her. She is shy and weird when you first meet her because of the things that happen in her life which was abuse, depression, attachment, neglect, and rape. Em Thurkill was a victim of abus [...]

    5. Emily's mother has been dead for four years. Em lives with Pamela, an older sister, who is about as nasty and vicious a person as you can find. At the start of the book she is dead, though, and the rest of the book is basically a story of how Emily has been emotionally abused by her older sister and has she has been physically (but not sexually) abused also.After her sister's death it takes Emily a while to begin to function somewhat normally.Overall a very disappointing read. There are so many [...]

    6. Not a happy read. In fact, a very unhappy read. But incredibly captivating and a page-turner nonetheless. It was very painful to read because of my own experiences of living with someone narcissistic and sociopathic and my own depression and money struggle. This book hurt on so many levels. But somehow in a good way. I still really liked it.

    7. Actually, quite a powerful book- the simple prose is painfully poetic at points, and beautiful, while narrative itself effectively captures the mental landscape of the protagonist. Would recommend this YA read to girls in early to mid teens as an independet/book club text (not school).

    8. i am currently reading this book this is a good book because this story/novel talks about how the girl [em:] is talking about her life and how she was living with her sister, mother, and her father.

    9. I keep coming to this book over several years and I finally got around to reading it since I finally had time. For some reason, I originally thought this had something to do with Anne Frank; I have surplus of Jewish books at home, especially Anne Frank books. So I was confused when I started this book, then I caught on that I was not reading about Anne Frank. This book was ok. It was touching but at the same time it was kind of bland.This is about a protagonist who is kind-hearted but is born in [...]

    10. When she was good A fiction book describing the challenges Em, the main character had to endure in her life with her abusive sister. The story has many twist and turns that made it difficult to put down. My favorite part of the book was seeing Em stand up for herself because this showed confidence. I really disliked how real this book felt because it makes you really connect with the characters feelings. I recommend this book to everyone because i think it's important to see these bad situations [...]

    11. This book was interesting one. It was about one girl named Em who spent her childhood of her life suffering her father's alcoholic situation, her mom's silent depression, and she had abusive sister who died later on. By reading it you learn all the things that she went through that was hard for her.

    12. A sad story, but also great. This book grabs me into the book as if I'm in it, watching it play. It's about this girl Em Thurkill who lost her mother and lives with her abusive sister and her drunken father. Pamela, Em's older sister seems to have issues in the head so she takes her anger out on Em. Her sorry excuse for a father doesn't do anything and drinks booze like there's no tomorrow. To make things worse Em's father married to another woman who doesn't seems to like both Em and Pamela. Em [...]

    13. "When She Was Good" by Norma Fox Mazer. The main character of this book is Em. She had a rough life and a very mood swinging life which made her change throughout the story. Some examples in the beginning of the book are "All night my dreams were thought dreams, and I woke up feeling almost nauseous from so many thoughts." (Mazer 41). And "Every so often, father would drink straight through the night, and then mother would wake us and tell us to go hide." (Mazer 70). While this was going on in t [...]

    14. CURRENTLY READING:Okay I have a lot to say right now and I've tried to fit it into a status update but I keep making them to long, so I'm just going to put it here. What is with that new woman in the house! Sirously I HATE Em's father and that new woman in the house. She thinks she can just come in there and change everything and take all of their real moms things away! And their Father lets her! The now he said he won't drink for this lady, well why the (would like to use words here but won't) [...]

    15. In the book When She Was Good, Em's mother died and Em and her sister Pamaela stay with her father until one day their father gets married to a women called Sarah.When Sarah comes to the house and meets the girls Pamela don't the part that her father married Sarah and also when her father said if you could please call her "Mom". Em is scared of her sister because Pamela would hit for no reason.When Em's father abonded then they live by themselves in apartment. When Pamela and Em starts living to [...]

    16. Title:When She Was GoodAuthor:Norma Fox MazerType:Teen DramaSummary: Theres this girl, Em who lives with a terrible older sister and alchol obsessed father. Everyday theres a new problem with her and Pamela(her older sister). Almonst every night her father is drunk and they just have to hide. Em can never do or say what she wants without being made fun of by her sister. No matter what she does she is never good enough. This book is interesting because of the relateable details. What happened in [...]

    17. Overall this book was good, but I've read better by Norma Fox Mazer. Em and her sister Pamela don't have a nice life. Their father has alcoholic rages, and their mother had depression and died. Pamela is also obese and Em has to survive Pamela's abuse. One day the father gets a girlfriend and marries her. Pamela and Em run away as a result. The girls survive off of Pamela's disability checks. Pamela is still abusive. One day Pamela dies from a stroke and Em has to process Pamela's death. She thi [...]

    18. "When she was good" she might learn how to deal with problems; she might want to live on her own; she might start to think for others; she is Em. " Em spent the first 14 years of her life suffering her father's alcoholic rages and her mother's silent depression, and the next 3 trapped with her abusive older sister, Pamela." Em do everything with Pamela and she listen to Pamela's direction. Mother died, they got a stepmother who is rude to them, therefore, they decided to move out. Em started to [...]

    19. Here it is in a nutshell: Em and Pamela are sisters that live together. Pamela is the elder sister, but she is mentally ill. They live off Pamela's social security and their apt. seems like a prison. The biggest issue is that Pamela is extremely abusive towards Em. So, the question this book raises and answers is: How does Em move on once her sister dies a premature death? I had trouble connecting with the characters on a deeper level, I feel like Mazer really keeps the reader at arms length. Ho [...]

    20. In this book I had found out that you don't alway have the greatest life that you always want to have. When you have parents that don't care to much about you it would be hard for a person. I couldn't believe that her parent had drank to much and to me I had thought that she was meaning that she killed her. This book to me had made me think that my life is really good right now and that there life is like crap. I'm thankful for every thing is that small thing come in bigger packages then what pe [...]

    21. Emily is our narrator. She has grown up in a trailer with her father, mother and older sister, Pamela. Emily at the beginning of the book is picking out a casket for her older sister who has just died from a stroke. Emily then recounts the story of her life and how her mother had died and then their father remarried and the new mother had said that they would have to start having to pay room and board. Then Pamela and Emily ran away from home one day to the city. I liked this book because at fir [...]

    22. I went into this book thinking that it was going to be about a girls personal demise into a life that not only affected her but affected her family. I was correct in expecting that the protagonist would experience change, but I did not expect that her fall would be due to her sister's anger issues. The protagonist had to learn quickly how to be independent when she and her sister had to live alone and must learn to deal with her older sister's temper that often gets them in more trouble then the [...]

    23. This is a heartbreaking,depressing and fantastic book.It is told in an out of order format,And is told by Em Thurkill,a young,helpless woman.Her tyrannical and abusive sister Pamela,who she lived with has just died.She hears her sister's voice all the time,screaming at her,and insulting her.It recounts Em's broken childhood,her alcoholic father,and her mother's early death.She runs away with Pamela,and lies about her age.Em endures Pamela's abuse until her sister dies of a stroke,leaving Em with [...]

    24. I remember checking this book out at school. (This was when I was in middle school, 8th grade) Every time I went to the library, this book always caught my eye, but I never got it. I finally did, just to see what it was like.This ended up being one of my favorite books. EVER. I could relate to this book well(depressed mom, alcoholic father). I was also in a dark time when I read this, so I could understand it. The book really mesmerized me, because I had never read a book so depressing and haunt [...]

    25. This book reminds me of "The Road Of Lost Innocence" because both of the books are talking about the dreary childhood lives of the protagonists. In "The Road of Lost Innocence", Somaly is abused sexually/physically, but in this book, Em is abused both mentally and physically. However, I think Somaly is more miserable because Em has her older sister, she trusts her sister, but Somaly does not have anyone, she can not trust anyone. By comparing both of the books, I think the people who live in mod [...]

    26. Imagine you were born into a family where your father was an abuseive alcholic, your mother was tired, depressed,abused,and your older sister was mentally and physically abusive to you. By the time you are a teen, your mother has died, your father remarried, and you and your sister move into an apartment together because you're not wanted by your new step-mother. Life with your sister is pure hell then suddenly she dies. Now you are free, only to keep hearing her verbal abuse in your head concer [...]

    27. This is quite the strange little book. It was oddly abrupt and my opinion tilted back and forth as I read it. At first it was excellent, then it sort of wandered off and drew itself out for a while, then it went back to being pretty good. I take off two stars for its inconsistent and somewhat bizarre pacing, and for the stretches of disturbing but relatively meaningless babble (I suppose to denote the protaganist's instability). However, the three stars are for the gripping beginning, snatches o [...]

    28. This story is told little by little from the point of view of the protagonist, a victim of terrible abuse: mother a victim of the abusive, drinking father, abusive sister who takes over from the father, death of the mother, leaving the narrator defenseless to the abusive sister. Fairly positive, since the girl learns to live independently and heal in small steps from the horrible existence she’s had up until her sister’s death. Bad language and really vile physical and emotional abuse told e [...]

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