Savage Girl by Jean Zimmerman

I found this book one day when I was going to a closing sale at Indigo, one of the top bookselling places in Canada. I usually don’t buy books I’ve never read; I have a strict rule that I should only buy books that I love and know I will read over and over again. However, the price for the book was reasonable so I decided to by it. Although, I purchased it a few months ago, I wasn’t able to read it until now because my mother “borrowed” it. But now I have read it so here goes my review. 

The story is set in 1875. The Delegates, a wealthy Manhattan family, have taken a trip in the American West and during their journey, they meet “Savage Girl”, a freakshow attraction in Nevada. She is claimed to have been raised by wolves in the wild and thus, is a wildling. The Delegates take her in in an effort to raise her to be a proper, civilized American; she is the perfect blank slate and they intend to make their mark on her as such. Savage Girl reveals her name to be Bronwyn and over the years, she attracts the attention of many men for her beauty and her mysteriousness, including the Delegates’ eldest son, Hugo. But as Bronwyn’s suitors begin to turn up dead, Hugo has to wonder whether the Savage Girl has truly been tamed. 

When I first started reading, I found the style in which it was written to not be to my taste. I like books with full sentences and proper descriptions; halting phrases and “improper” grammar (I shouldn’t really say improper because grammar is only considered wrong on the prescriptive level, not the descriptive level) are not my thing. But I continued to give it a shot. The core of the story was intriguing but at times, I felt that there was a lot of deviation from that in the narrative. The ending was a surprising twist that I did not expect and it appeased me … a bit. I’m not saying that this book wasn’t good. It was written well and the descriptions of the lifestyle were very interesting. However, I was not sucked in to the storyline. Nevertheless, give it a shot, if not for anything but the mystery of Savage Girl and the murders of her suitors. 

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