Book Review: St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves

Wow, that title is a mouth-full.


St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell

I knew going in that this book was going to be a challenge for me.  St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves is a collection of 10 short stories.  Oh no, short stories?  That’s not for me.  Really WEIRD short stories??  Definitely not for me.  Really WEIRD short stories that I don’t even understand???  So definitely not for me.

I tackled this book one short story at a time though!  Once broke it down and just read one short a day….or every few days…and then stopped for a bit, it was doable for me.

When I was at book club, I pretty much sat down and said I hated the book.  But then we talked about it, I kept chiming in about different stories that I did like and parts I remembered.

My friend, Amy, said…It sounds like you liked the book more than you originally said.

You know what, you’re right!  Now, I did not LIKE the book.  But that’s really because it’s not my thing.

There were stories that I enjoyed though.

I’m going to quickly break them down.

1.  Ava Wrestles the Alligator:  didn’t like it!  And interestingly enough, Karen Russell’s newest novel is based on this story.  And Entertainment Weekly gave it an A rating, so what do I know?

2.  Haunting Oliva:  didn’t like it!

3.  Z.Z.’s Sleep-Away Camp for Disordered Dreamers:  finally, one that I kind of liked!  It was interesting how the cabins at the camp were separated by sleep disorders:  headbangers, night eaters, gnashers, incontinents, narcoleptics, etc.

4.  The Star-Gazer’s Log of Summer-Time Crime:  This story was my favorite!

My favorite excerpt:  “Look, I’m not a phony!”  I try to huff my voice up to an appropriately righteous volume.  “It’s just that I choose to accentuate other aspects of myself around Raffy–sort of like how you glob on mascara so as to indicated, Look!  I have eyelashes!  So maybe I don’t mention the Junior Astronomer Society.  Well, you don’t use mascara on your chin hairs.”

5.  from Children’s Reminiscences of the Westward Migration:  I did like the imagery of this story.  See, Karen Russell’s imagination is awesome!  HOW did she come up with these stories??  This story is pretty much about an Oregon Trail scenario is that the father is a Minotaur.  He’s part man/part bull and has to pull the family’s wagon.

6.  Lady Yeti and the Palace of Artificial Snows:  didn’t like it!

7.  The City of Shells:  didn’t like it!

8.  Out to Sea:  liked it!  Whew!  This story is about an old man on a houseboat.  A young girl has to visit him for her community service.  She ends up stealing from him, but he doesn’t care since he values her company more than his things.  So sad though!

9.  Accident Brief, Occurrence # 00/422:  I also really liked this story, hooray!  I didn’t expect the twisty ending of this story.

10.  St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves:  annnnnnnd I didn’t like it!

In the end, I’m glad that I gave this book a try.  I think it’s good to sometimes step outside of my usually chick lit.

2 out of 5 stars