Sara Shaw is a sixteen year old girl who seems lost and fragile with who she wants to be or what she desires to do. Taken place in the 1980s, at first she just chills with "burn out boys" and goes home to her father, Seamus, almost every day. Gradually, Sara started transforming into a crazed, individual who gets tied up in large bundles of trouble. She starts to visit the streets with hookers, strippers, and prostitues and eventually feels at home on the mean streets of Victoria, British Columbia. Sarah decided to drop out of school, become a runaway teen, and ends up being accused of attempted murder. Narrated by Sara herself, the novel immerses the reader in her chaotic, contradictory, and passionate world, sustaining a delirious pace throughout the book.

"Twelve o'clock: the Power Hour. Burnouts loved the Power Hour. Heaven. For them. They know every word. They sang along, pretending guitars were in their hands. They sang the Lemon Song to me." I liked this passage because I immediately had a visual of the relaxed setting, and what they were doing. It can relate because there is tons of teens now a days who would definitely be doing something like this. To me it was one of the few comical parts of the book. pg. 5.
"Dad, today I skipped school and met a man who told me I could make money as a model. His shrimpy friend begged me to come to his studio so he could shoot me." This stuck out to me because it really made me realize the types of people out in this world. You can't always trust people, and that definitely wouldn't have been the right environment for any type of sixteen year old. Sara of course didn't actually tell her father that, although it was the truth of what she actually encountered. This relates because I've witnessed teens make up brainless lies just to get away with the wrong they actually did. pg. 37.
"I can go with you now, I said, though I didn't want to go to the forests. I'll get in trouble if I take you out of school. No one cares. They don't even know I'm there." This part stuck out to me because it kind of made me angry at Seamus for just leaving. Although it's hard being a father of a girl because of all the obstacles we face, he shouldn't have just up and gone like that. In my personal opinion, he should have at least waited until Sara graduated high school, and then taken her with him so he could have kept an eye on her and maybe all of the trouble she got into wouldn't have taken place if this was what he decided to do. pg. 40.
"He just did what I told him, and I quickly leaned down to kiss him before he could change his mind and offer up his own idea of what I was supposed to do. His lips were clammy and metallic" This part made me cringe because I keep thinking over and over, 'she's only sixteen, she shouldn't even be any wheres near this type of place.' It actually really made me kind of sick, as bad as that sounds. I just don't think its right when people sell themselves to people, people they don't even know. Either way though, it's not right at all. This was a perfect example of what kind of path Sara would continue on.pg. 53.
"The skinhead girl was only wearing fishnets so you could see her pink underwear......... With her hips, she pushed herself into Gramps. Clearly, she was preoccupied. I had a lot of problems, but at least I wasn't necking with ninety-year-old men." I chose this passage because I could vividly see what was going on in that "Blue House" and it definitely wasn't something good. All I could picture was a bunch of young and old grimy, freakish people messed up on who knows what, dancing around looking like a wreck. pg. 125.

This reminds me of "The Blue House" that Sara decides to go into and cause mayhem.

Two possible themes found in the book were rage and lust. Rage because she goes out all the time with other girls who are also left on their own. They drink, take drugs, and have sex for enjoyment and profit which eventually leads herself up in a bunch of chaos. She's stayed in many different types of conditions, whether it being on a roof, the White Oaks, or even in her so called "boyfriend" Nicholas's bed... Point blank, she's been through hell and back. Another theme I thought fit the book was lust because she acts sly and sneaky through out the book. For instance, when her and China planned on stealing Dirk Wallace's wallet, they set it up so Dirk had no idea what was about to happen. She's good with guys because they see her as the 'innocent' type, which she truly isn't. There are many different sexual scenes through out the whole story, and that is another sign of lust.

The setting of this book mainly revolves around the streets Victoria, British Columbia in the 1980s where Sara leads herself in messy situations with grungy men, hookers, and prostitutes. She basically lives on the streets where tons of people rush past her every day, and some actually worry about her when they catch a glimpse of her. Since Sara is always ready to take on what ever happens, she tends to meet all sorts of new people, in which all of them being bad news.

Sara Shaw; a troubled, abandoned, runaway sixteen year old. Looks innocent and natural, red head with freckles, very thin.

Seamus Shaw; father of Sara Shaw. A hippie who enjoys and appreciates life's wonderful things such as flowers, marijuana, the woods, etc.

Dirk Wallace; a man in his mid thirties, kind of awkward, red hair, and has glasses. Gets robbed by Sara and China and ends up getting assaulted and almost murdered by Justine and Sara.


Justine K; a strangely alluring, mysterious street girl who Sara can't seem to get enough of. Lives on the streets, going from place to place. She's very rebellious, but also bad news. Black, shoulder length hair, grungy looking, and really thin.

BOOK REVIEW & RECOMMENDATIONS:In the novel, The Torn Skirt, I tried attaching my attention to it, but I just couldn't seem to do so. There were some parts I actually did enjoy reading about and that did grab my attention, but over all I guess you can say that it just wasn't my cup of tea. In my opinion, the beginning had me hooked quite a bit, and made me want to read it, but then getting more into it I started to loose interest. The part I liked the most was when the investigation finally started rising up when Justine and Sara committed a dirty crime. I thought this part was interesting because it had me wanting to read more and more when they started uncovering clues about the night when the crime was committed. The part I least liked was the end with out a doubt. I say this because by the way Rebecca created the ending, she made so many different ideas pop in my head with what was going to be the outcome of Justine and Sara, but it was like she lost the train of thought she was going with, and the book came to an abrupt ending. I recommend this book to anyone who's into reading about the crazy life of a runaway teenager, suspenseful drama, sex, and drugs. I rate this book a 6.5 out of 10 stars.

MUSIC:You show us everything you've gotYou keep on dancin' and the room gets hot
You drive us wild, we'll drive you crazy
You say you wanna go for a spin
The party's just begun, we'll let you in
You drive us wild, we'll drive you crazy
You keep on shoutin', you keep on shoutin'....
I wanna rock and roll all nite and party every day ♫



Rebecca Godfrey was born in Toronto, Ontario, to Dave Godfrey and Ellen Godfrey, but grew up in Victoria, British Columbia.
She received a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Toronto, and then attended the University of Toronto and received an M.F.A in creative writing. from Sarah Lawrence College. She worked as an editor, and now she's an award winning novelist and journalist. Her first book was The Torn Skirt(2001), and her second, which is her most recent, was Under The Bridge(2005), an investigation into a true-life case in which a group of teenage girls was accused of the murder of fourteen year old, Reena Virk. Rebecca currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.