Marshall, Leslie. A girl could stand up, a novel.

Author:MacGregor, Amanda
Position::Book Review

MARSHALL, Leslie. A girl could stand up, a novel. Grove. 372p. c2003. 0-8021-4139-0. $14.00. SA

As an adult reflecting back, Elray Mayhew narrates the tale of her unusual childhood in this touching, well-written novel. Elray's life changes forever when, on her sixth birthday, her parents are electrocuted right before her eyes in an accident at an amusement park. She ends up in the care of Uncle Harwood, a roving photographer, and Aunt Ajax, "a cross-dressing male lesbian." The new family embraces Rena, the lawyer suing the amusement park, as one of its own. Together, the four build their foundations, and Elray learns more about her parents and other family members through the constant stories that are told. Harwood, Ajax, Rena, and Elray's psychiatrist all parent her in different ways, concerned that she isn't dealing with her parents' death. Elray, however, has her own ways of coping. She becomes obsessed with being "invincible" and practices how to die with her very real but assumed to be imaginary best friend, Raoul Person. Elray lives dangerously, pushing herself to do frightening acts and making questionable decisions all in the name of nonexistence exercises. Her...

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