The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
Nine year old Trisha McFarland is hiking along the Appalachian Trail with her mother and brother when she strays from the path. As time passes she moves faster and faster in a bit to find the trail, but ends up getting more lost and wandering further afield than anyone would expect. Trisha’s comfort becomes her portable radio and she listens avidly to the baseball games and her hero Tom Gordon. As the situation gets more dangerous Trisha begins to fantasize that Tom Gordon is with her, and that will be the one to keep her save.
I am a huge Stephen King fan but this is one of his books that had slipped under my radar for quite some time. When I saw it at a car boot sale for 50p, I decided that I was ready to read it.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. As the title of the book says, Trisha is obsessed with a baseball player called Tom Gordon. To be honest, this is why I thought I would not like the book so much. I live in England, I know nothing about Baseball and have no idea how the game is played. Thankfully, this didn’t really impact on my enjoyment of the novel. Ok, the scenes describing the baseball games over the radio went over my head a little, but the rest of the novel was so gripping that I was instantly engrossed in the plot.
‘The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon’ is not a ‘horror’ novel, in my opinion. I found it to be an intense psychological read. I was caught up in the thoughts, fears and panic of Trisha as her situation got worse and worse. I found myself thirsty while she was hunting for water, hungry when she ran out of food and tired when she was tired. It’s not often I read a book in a just one or two sittings but I did this one. I did not want to stop reading until I reached the conclusion of the book and found out what happened to Trisha.
I liked Trisha’s character. I found myself willing her to make different choices – why not turn around and go back when she realised she was lost? But I kept asking myself what I would have done in a similar situation when I was 9 years old. It think it made the novel more realistic that Trisha was unable to make adult judgments, it showed her true age. I liked that Trisha just didn’t give up, she fought and fought and I admired that. It would have been so easy to just lay down and give up but she didn’t.
Overall, I thought this book was fantastic. Another favourite Stephen King book! It’s a far step away from his other works, but it excels in a different way. I really admire Stephen King as a writer and storyteller and I am very glad I enjoy nearly all of his books that I choose to pick up.