The Girls

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A book review of The Girls: An All-American Town, a Predatory Doctor, and the Untold Story of the Gymnasts Who Brought Him Down by Abigail Pesta

A book review of The Girls: An All-American Town, a Predatory Doctor, and the Untold Story of the Gymnasts Who Brought Him Down by Abigail Pesta

Stars: *****

Hatchette Book Group (2019)
True Crime/Sports
240 pages

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Summary: In this news-breaking narrative, decades of women who brought down sexual predator Larry Nassar offer groundbreaking new insight, with the first known survivor and many others sharing their stories exclusively for the first time.

We think of Larry Nassar as the despicable sexual predator of Olympic gymnasts — but there is an astonishing, untold story. For decades, in a small-town gym in Michigan, he honed his manipulations on generations of aspiring gymnasts. Kids from the neighborhood. Girls with hopes of a college scholarship. Athletes and parents with a dream. In The Girls, these brave women for the first time describe Nassar’s increasingly bold predations through the years, recount their warning calls unheeded, and demonstrate their resiliency in the face of a nightmare.

The Girls is a profound exploration of trust, ambition, betrayal, and self-discovery. Award-winning journalist Abigail Pesta unveils this deeply reported narrative at a time when the nation is wrestling with the implications of the MeToo movement. How do the women who grew up with Nassar reconcile the monster in the news with the man they once trusted? In The Girls, we learn that their answers to that wrenching question are as rich, insightful, and varied as the human experience itself.

The Girls

I love True Crime and Gymnastics so when I saw this at the library I had to read it. It’s hard to say it’s a good book when it’s true crime because what happened in the crimes was not good at all. But it was a well written account of what went down and that’s what makes it a good book.

It’s shocking to think that hundreds of girls were molested by one person before he was taken down. The details of the crime itself (molesting girls) is horrible but what was really shocking was that so many girls came forward and yet nothing was done and he got away with it for years and years.

It is extra upsetting when a person with a lot of authority takes advantage of someone else. We are supposed to be able to trust doctors and coaches. Even the people in charge who didn’t see the abuse claims for what they were, real abuse. I’m just so glad they have been caught and the girls and women can start to heal.

It was a well-written book with accounts from many survivors included. I hope the author writes more true crime books in the future.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.