The Talk-Funny Girl
Review by Kathleen Y.
= Read & Recommend
"The Talk-Funny Girl" by Roland Merullo (author of "Breakfast with Buddha") is a riveting story of a teenage girl’s survival and coming of age in backwoods New Hampshire. She talks the way her parents speak with a broken English dialect that invites teasing among her peers and curiosity from adults. Marjorie (or Majie as her parents call her) is tough both physically and mentally. She is a loner isolated from the world until she’s allowed to attend school starting at age 9 and does well in school despite her poor communication skills. She practically raises herself since her mother seems incapable of parenting. Her saving grace is finding a job assisting a young man who is designing and constructing a cathedral in a small town not far from where Marjorie lives.
He shares his dream with her to create a place to sit and find peace within the walls of a quiet and beautiful building.
He hires Marjorie as his assistant, and she proves to perfect for the job. Ironically she endures great physical and mental suffering from the family’s only connection with another church and its pastor. There is a strange loyalty to her parents similar to that in "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls. Marjorie continues to share her hard-earned wages with her abusive parents even after finally leaving their home. Thanks to a kind aunt, her new job and employer named Sands, Marjorie gradually develops confidence and sees through the stained-glass windows of a growing cathedral a vision of hope for a different life.