The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is a novel by Stephen King. This is a story about a nine year old girl who gets lost in the woods of Maine (of course with King, it is always Maine).

King names the chapters in this book after baseball innings ("Top of the Fourth", "Eight Inning", etc). I feel he tries a little too hard to give this book baseball symbolism (most prominant in the last 50 pages or so). This symbolism works in many places, but it just seems "forced" a couple of times.

Except for a few flashbacks there is little dialogue in this book between any real people (as Trisha is all by herself in the woods). But she is constantly discussing things with herself, the memory of her friend "Pepsi", and her vision of Tom Gordon. We will sometimes get to look in on Trisha's family as they worry about her, but those interludes could have been cut with little effect on the novel.

The only thing I did not like about this novel was the ending. I got the feeling that I was missing about 100 pages of the book. It was as if King realized that his publisher had only asked for 250 pages, and that once he exceeded that count, he just wrapped it up as quickly as he could. Other than that, this is a great book.

Storyline

Trisha was 9 years old but tall for her age. She was going on yet another one of the endless saturday outings her mother had started having since the divorce. Her mother and brother were already in a fierce arguement by the time they got to the hiking trail, and it only got worse as the day went on. was feeling completely ignored, she was like an invisible girl. She announced her intentions to pee (which her completely oblivious familiy did not hear), and darted down an alternate trail.

Trisha turned back toward the slope, and then turned around again as the worst idea of her life came to her. This idea was to go forward instead of backtracking to the Kezar Notch trail. The paths had forked in a Y; she would simply walk across the gap and rejoin the main trail. Piece of cake. There was no chance of getting lost, because she could hear the voices of the other hikers so clearly. There was really no chance of getting lost at all.

Trisha made her first of many mistakes by deciding to cut through the woods to catch up to her family faster. She soon becomes hopelessly lost. The first night she comforts herself by listening to the Red Sox on the radio. He favorite player Tom Gordon comes in a closing pitcher, and saves the game.

Soon she finds herself following a stream in an attempt to work her way out of the woods. But she is not alone, something else is in the woods, she can feel it's presence. Something is watching her. At the beginning it is just a feeling. But soon it turns into much more than that.

... in the dripping quiet came the sound of twigs breaking. That stopped and there was a pause followed by a flurry of moving branches and a rough rasping sound. A crow called once, in alarm. There was a pause and then the sounds began again, moving closer to where Trisha slept with her head on her arm.

As the days go on Trisha begans to fall sick. Tom Gordon has become her imaginary companion. He walks along with her, and she talks to him (but he seldom talks back, but when he does it is important). Trisha is beginning to have real trouble separating reality from fantasy at this point. She begins to encounter the slaughtered remains of ripped apart deer (left by the "special thing" that is watching her). In a waking dream she sees three Priests. The first is from the God of Tom Gordon (who says that he will not be able to help her). The second is the subaudible (who is her father's "God"). He says he is weak and cannot help her. The third is a horrible Priest composed from thousands of insects. He comes from "The God of the Lost". These robed priests soon vanish to leave only a few butterflies floating in the air where they once had been.

"I come from the thing in the woods" the blackrobe said in a buzzing inhuman voice. He sounded to Trisha like that guy on the radio who told you not to smoke, the one who had lost his vocal cords in a cancer operation and had to talk through a gadget he held to his throat. "I come from the God of the Lost. It has been watching you. It has been waiting for you. It is your miracle, and you are its."

After over a week in the woods Trisha encounters an old post with a ringbolt on top. (She had dreamed of this several days before). Tom Gordon is there waiting for her. With his help she finds the remains of more posts (what was once a fence). She follows this old fence to an abandoned road. She finally has some hope of actually getting home (but the beast is still with her).

"A road! It's a road! I found a road! Thank you, God! Thank you, God! Thank you for this road!" Finally she stopped, slipped off her pack, and lay down in the rut. "This was made by wheels", she tought, and laughed throughout her tears. After a little while she rolled over and looked at the sky.

She spent the night in the cab of an ancient rusted out truck on the side of the road. She saw her monster briefly in person (before running into the truck to hide). When she awoke she thought that maybe she had hallucinated the sighting. That was until she got out of the truck.

While she slep something had dug a circle through the leaves and needles and underbrush surrounding the abandoned truck cab. It was perfectly clear in the morning light, a curving line of wet black earth in the greenery. Bushes and small trees which had been in the way had been torn out by the roots and thrown aside in broken pieces. The God of the Lost had come and drawn a circle around her as if to say, "Stay clear---she is mine, she is my property."

We have gotten close to the ending. So I am going to stop describing the plot any further (else there would be no reason for you to read the book). Go out and give it a read if you think it may be interesting.

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