Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Coming-of-age novels: In praise of The Torn Skirt

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The Catcher in the Rye, On the Road -- these are coming-of-age novels typically discovered in high school. The kind of books that illuminate life and make you, the reader, feel alive. My own favourite coming-of-age novel was The Torn Skirt by Toronto-born Rebecca Godfrey, the kind of writer who can only be described as brave and poetic.

The Torn Skirt follows 16-year-old Sara's journey through the dark side of Victoria, British Columbia, looking for a girl named Justine -- "the girl in the torn skirt." It has one of the best endings/last lines of any book I've ever read (trust me! read it!). Books like this are important. They are even necessary. When you're a teenager, time feels slow, and it seems like you'll be in high school forever. Stories like this are comforting because they're a world beyond Math homework and school-wide assemblies. This is one of the books that inspired me and made me want to be an author.

Rebecca Godfrey is also the author of Under the Bridge, a non-fiction book about the Reena Virk tragedy.

Here's a link to her website:

What is your favourite coming-of-age novel?

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Aya Tsintziras

Aya Tsintziras is the author of the YA novel Pretty Bones, which was selected for the Canadian Book Centre's Best Books for Kids and Teens in Spring 2012. She has a BA in Political Science from the University of Toronto and is currently pursuing a Masters of Journalism at Ryerson University.

Go to Aya Tsintziras’s Author Page