I’ve never been a reader of Stephen King books. I have read various articles that King wrote about both reading and writing, and I’ve found those interesting, but my attempts at reading his books while I was in high school didn’t make me a lifelong fan. This book came into my hands as my youngest brother and I were trying to empty our parents attic of our various possessions (I am still looking for my doll furniture). My brother offered me some books he didn’t want, knowing I have a weakness for things that are both free and books. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and perhaps that is why The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon didn’t impress me.
The book’s main character Trisha McFarland is a mediator between her older brother and divorced mother as they try to acclimate to life in a different town after a broken marriage. Trisha is kind hearted, but loses patience while listening to her mom and brother’s continual arguing as they take a Saturday hike along the Appalachian Trail. She wanders off the trail and quickly becomes disoriented and lost. As she travels through the woods she feels the presence of evil. Some evil thing that is the god of all who are lost, and clearly, it wants to get her. I found it hard to get into the actual story of the book. Perhaps I was expecting to be terrified or captivated from the beginning, but I wasn’t. I also am an avid hiker and back packer, so I kept drawing back to my own experience while reading the book and having a difficult time relating to Trisha’s ‘lost’ experience. I also felt the illusions to Tom Gordon (Red Sox relief pitcher) during this story to come across as a bit heavy handed, but I concede that might be because I find baseball pretty intolerable.
At the end, the book picked up, and I got more of what I might have expected from a Stephen King novel, though I admit having read so little of his work, I hardly know what a typical Stephen King novel is. I had hoped this book would terrify me, or confuse me, or make it hard for me to sleep at night. It did none of those things, and so I give it a meh, for an okay story. I will say that once I got into the story, I was very engaged and read the book quickly, so for anyone who is in between books looking for a quick little read, this one would work.