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In The Only Girl in the Car, Kathy Dobie has written an extraordinary and painfully intimate memoir of her coming to womanhood. Bookworm and dreamer, Kathy was a young girl with a tender heart, an adventurer’s spirit, and a child’s terrible confusion about her proper place in the world. As the oldest daughter in a family of six children, she seemed trapped in her role as Big Sister and Mommy’s Helper. Then, one day, teetering on the brink of adolescence, hormones surging, she heard someone call her “cheesecake,” and she suddently felt different, she felt desired, she felt like a woman.
“Cheesecake, jailbait, sex kitten”—the very words seemed to be “doors opening” to a splendid new self. But from the moment she decides to lose her virginity and reels in her prey, a “full-grown man,” fourteen-year-old Kathy begins the opening of a door to a world that she would never want to be a part of. One cold, raw March night some months later, parked in a car with four boys on the outskirts of her small suburban town, she enters this world.
Though she could never have foreseen the outcome of that night, the “boys in the car could just as well have been Gypsies foretelling my future,” she writes. Girls who break the rules in small towns like the one she lived in are expected to pay a very high price for their transgressions—and she did.
And yet, this young girl, as scrappy a protagonist as any in our literature, manages to transform her fate. The story of how she came to be in that car, and how she stepped out of it forever altered, yet not forever damaged, is the theme of this extraordinary coming-of-age memoir.
Praise for The Only Girl in the Car...
"This is the most honest, unflinching account of the sexuality of an adolescent girl I've ever read. Kathy Dobie treads fearlessly in that undiscovered country."
—Haven Kimmel author of A Girl Named Zippy
“The Only Girl in the Car is a memoir at its best--haunting honesty combined with literary grace. An impossible task, but this book accomplishes it, in a form so elegant as to seem effortless…. What a storyteller, and what a soul to tell it!”
—Jennifer Lauck, author of Blackbird