Under Cover: ‘The Girls from Corona del Mar’

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Girls CdM book coverI was making a Costco run the other day, when I quickly popped into the book section to pick up a copy of something one of my boys had requested.

As always, I gave the book table a quick once over, to make sure there wasn’t anything else that I couldn’t live without.

One book, sandwiched between a cooking tome and a summer workbook, literally jumped out at me.

My eyes registered the title: “The Girls From Corona del Mar: A Novel.”

Hold on, double take…did that say Corona del Mar? Yep, it sure did. How did a book whose very title screams “our community” escape my notice before now? I don’t know, but as soon as I got home, I googled the author to find out more.

Imagine my delight when I discovered that not only was “The Girls From Corona del Mar” chosen as one of Amazon’s best books for July 2014, its author, Rufi Thorpe was coming to Laguna for her West Coast book launch party.

Originally hailing from CdM herself, Thorpe, who now lives in Washington D.C., wrote the book while working at Laguna College of Art and Design, in the English department. Now, she is returning to LCAD, and her former stomping ground, for her first West Coast book signing and lecture.

Thorpe and LCAD invite you to join them on Saturday, August 9, at 11:30 a.m., under the college’s 200-year-old Sycamore tree, as the author signs books and offers a reading. Refreshments made by Thorpe’s own mother will be served, and attendees are welcome to bring their own picnic lunches to enjoy as they take in the beautiful canyon views and savor the presentation.

As if stunning views, homemade treats, and personal commentary from the author weren’t enough, the deal gets even sweeter: parking is free, and there is no charge to attend the event.

You can even pre-purchase signed copies before the event by contacting Laguna Beach Books, who will in turn donate ten percent of sales to LCAD’s Dennis and Leslie Power Library.

The book’s cover photo, which depicts two sets of long legs, undoubtedly sprouting from well-tanned bikini-clad bodies, would lend the idea that “The Girls From Corona del Mar” is the type of book you might tuck in

Rufi Thorpe
Rufi Thorpe

your beach bag for a piece of escapist fluff. While that notion seems logical with a beach city taking front and center in the title, it couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Instead, the book tells the story of Mia and Lorrie Ann, two girls who, in their youth, fostered an intense friendship. Mia idolized Lorrie Ann, and saw everything around her friend through rose-colored glasses. Lorrie Ann was the perfect girl, with the perfect family, who could do no wrong – a sharp contrast to the way Mia felt about her own life.

As will happen with any teenage relationship, time proved to pull the two apart. Consequences from their very different choices took the girls down diverging life paths, and Mia began to see that Lorrie Ann, perhaps, wasn’t the girl she always thought she was. Each girl could have easily ended up in the other’s shoes, had only they played their cards a little differently.

In a commentary on the deep emotional ties that bind us to our first and most fierce friendships, the girls never quite lost their connection. Although life took them in different directions, their bond was always there.

A gripping and sometimes gut-wrenching book, “The Girls From Corona del Mar” takes a look at loyalty, friendship, and family, and will make readers reevaluate the relationships in their own lives as well.

For more information about the event, or to pre-purchase a copy of the book, please visit lagunabeachbooks.com.

Edie Crabtree is an avid reader and the mother of three active boys. She can be reached at [email protected].

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