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"The Year of Needy Girls is as much about how fear can cloud our perceptions of both self and other as it is about the persistent search for love and home. Patricia Smith's vision is at once keen and generous." ?Elizabeth Graver, author of The End of the Point
A young boy's murder unleashes chaos in the life of a schoolteacher and a small New England town.
Bradley, Massachusetts is in many ways a typical small New England town?the green, the churches, the bricked library. Deirdre Murphy and her partner Sara Jane (SJ) Edmonds have just moved to town where Deirdre teaches French to girls at tony Brandywine Academy. A dedicated teacher from a working-class background, she is well loved by her students, and this particular fall, living for the first time in an open relationship with SJ, in their first house, should be her happiest yet.
But the murder of ten-year-old Leo Rivera changes everything?for Deirdre and SJ, for the girls at Brandywine, and for all of Bradley. And when Deirdre is falsely accused of sexually molesting one of her students, the entire town erupts.
Patricia Smith's nonfiction has appeared in several anthologies including One Teacher in 10: Gay and Lesbian Educators Tell Their Stories and One Teacher in Ten in the New Millennium: LGBT Educators Speak Out About What's Gotten Better . . . and What Hasn't. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in such places as Salon, Broad Street, Prime Number, and Gris-Gris. The Year of Needy Girls is her first novel. A native New Englander, Smith now lives in Chester, Virginia, with her partner.