The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon …a review

This Stephen King book was recommended by a teacher in school when I wanted something inspirational to read. And boy was it inspirational! So much so, that years down the line, the little girl Trisha continues to dispel my fears and provide comfort. The story is set in motion by a family hiking trip, during which Trisha’s brother, Pete, and mother constantly squabble about the mother’s divorce with her father. Trisha falls back to avoid listening and is unable to find her family again after she wanders off the trail.

She turns off the trail and then tries to catch up by attempting a shortcut. She then slips and falls down a steep embankment and ends up hopelessly lost, heading deeper into the heart of the forest. She is left with a bottle of water, very little to eat, and a Walkman. Now and then she listens to her Walkman to keep her mood up, either to learn of news of the search for her, or to listen to the baseball game featuring her favorite player, and “heartthrob,” Tom Gordon.

As she starts to take steps to survive by conserving what little food she has with her, and consuming edible flora; her mother and brother return to their car without her and call the police and start a search. As the cops stop searching for the night, she huddles up underneath a tree to rest. Eventually, a combination of fear, hunger, and thirst causes Trisha to hallucinate. She imagines several people from her life, as well as her hero, Tom Gordon, appearing to her. Her trial becomes a test of a 9 year old girl’s ability to maintain sanity in the face of seemingly certain death. Racked with pneumonia and near death, she comes upon a road after wandering for days together, but just as she discovers signs of civilization, she is confronted by a bear — which she (in her own way) interprets as the God of the Lost in disguise.. A hunter who has come upon the confrontation between girl and beast frightens the bear away and takes Trisha to safety, but Trisha knows that she earned her rescue. Her hero, Tom Gordon, and his stances during his games kept her going and at the end Trisha asks her father to hand her her Red Sox hat (autographed by Tom Gordon) and she points towards the sky, just as Tom Gordon does when he closes a game.

Quote: The world had teeth and it could bite you with them anytime it wanted.

PS: Plot synopsis taken from Wiki and edited.

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