The story introduces the reader to 9 year old Trisha McFarland. A 9 year old that is tall for her age, her father’s daughter, has a wonderfully vivid imagination and a huge fan of the Red Sox. Especially of the pitcher, Tom Gordon. Trisha is from Boston until her parents divorced and she, her mother, and 14 year old brother, Pete, move to Maine. This move caused quite a rift between Trisha’s mom and brother. Fighting was a regular occurrence between the two of them and her mother’s solution was to drag them on regular weekend field trips in an attempt to bring them all closer.
Unfortunately, it was typically the cause of further tension and arguments. One particular weekend, Trisha’s mom took Pete along with Trisha to go hiking along the Appalachian Trail. The trip goes along as expected… pouting and complaining from her brother and her mother working extra hard to be excited about the hike. Trisha trails behind the bickering pair wishing they would just fight. After stopping the in the woods to use the little girls bush without telling her family, Trisha becomes lost deep in the woods.
As time goes, on Trisha gets lost deeper and deeper into the dark woods. She encounters wasps, rivers, marshes, rain and nights. All alone in the dark of the night was the worse and she might not have made it if it weren’t for her walkman she brought in her backpack. It connected her to her beloved Red Sox and Tom Gordon. However, the voices of the Red Sox announcer’s weren’t the only voice she heard. There was a voice in her head, a cold sinister voice, warning her of something in the woods. Something that is looking for her. Trisha begins to see signs of what the voice in her head is talking about. Signs that it may not just be her imagination. Dead animals, claw marks on trees and noises in the night. She seeks solace in pretending to talk to her hero, Tom Gordon. He walks with her as a friend and a protector, but can he save her from the beast the voice is warning her of? Will she find her way home to her family?
“The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon” is definitely a page turning thriller. The main character, Trisha, is a strong, intelligent, and resourceful 9 year old who the reader will find instantly likeable. The struggles that Trisha overcomes cause her to discover, not religion, but faith. Faith in herself, faith in Tom Gordon, and faith in the fact that everything in the end, will be ok.
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