This blog will touch on the experiences I have as a writer (not to be mistaken for my experience as a writer, i.e. how many books I've written, etc); the pleasure and the pain, the joy and the grief, the satisfaction and the frustration, the magic and the reality - have I left anything out, oh yeah, the rejection, rejection and more rejection, the humiliation and the embarrassment, the jealousy and the resentment - that pretty much covers it, except for why I do it which perhaps I'll realize along the way. Are you totally confused? Good, let's begin.
Five young women, all from seriously dysfunctional backgrounds, form the Black Roses, a girl gang that provides them with safety, family, purpose and love as well as cash from their criminal pursuits.
The leader, Mac, has a mother’s who's a junkie; Mercy, an Indo-Canadian, has lost her parents as a child; Kayos, the Shaughnessy kid has been sexually abused by her step-father; Sly Girl, the Native Indian has escapes the hell that’s the rez, and Z, the Chinese graffiti artist can’t conform to her New Canadian family’s cultural expectations.
For a short time these young women, hardly more than girls, come together and share a special bond, but living outside the law as well as dealing with addictions and the psychological issues that haunt them gradually begin to erode the Black Roses from within and without.
Author Ashley Little tells this story from the POV of the five members. Her voice uses street slang that sounds authentic, as do her descriptions of life on the mean streets of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
The writing is fresh, flawless, and powerfully simple. The plot is brutal, edgy and explosive. The format uses short chapters, graphic headings and jumps back and forth from character to character but manages to remain cohesive and extremely readable.
The author took some chances in writing style, format and subject matter and succeeded in all three. Anatomy of a Girl Gang is a ground breaker and worthy of the accolade it’s been receiving.