Book Review: Those Girls, Chevy Stevens (2015)

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

“What else bad can happen?”

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for rape, torture, child abuse, and general violence.)

To say that life hasn’t been easy for the Campbell sisters is an understatement of epic proportions. When they were younger, their mother – who loved them dearly but wasn’t always able to put enough food on the table – was killed, hit head-on by a hay truck. Their already unstable father went off the rails and on a bender, effectively abandoning them to the state. The three were swiftly separated, placed into different foster homes, each one worse than the next. (Courtney’s foster dad sexually harassed her, and his jealous wife beat her in retaliation; Dani effectively became a slave laborer.)

After Dad got his shit together, Dani, Courtney, and Jess went to live with him on a remote ranch near the Canadian border. There, the girls help work off their rent by performing manual labor – all while trying their best to avoid Dad’s fists. He’s a violent drunk, and without Mom around to mediate, the abuse has only escalated. Luckily, he’s gone three weeks out of every month, working on an oil field in Alberta.

One night he returns from camp, drunk and in a mood. A friend informed him that his middle daughter Courtney is “running around” with a married man nearly twice her age. He confronts her, and before you can say “slut shaming” or “victim blaming,” things go sideways.

(More below the fold…)