in partnership
(Image: Claire Messud / W.W. Norton)<p></p>

November Book Club Pick: 'The Burning Girl'

Refined Reads is a monthly bookclub and partnership between Seattle Refined and University Book Store. Want to be part of it? Sign up here (don't worry, we won't spam you with emails - just alerts to discussion dates, special events and books of the month)!

Our November book club pick is....drum roll....'The Burning Girl' by Claire Messud!

Julia and Cassie have been friends since nursery school. They have shared everything, including their desire to escape the stifling limitations of their birthplace, the quiet town of Royston, Massachusetts. But as the two girls enter adolescence, their paths diverge and Cassie sets out on a journey that will put her life in danger and shatter her oldest friendship. The Burning Girl is a complex examination of the stories we tell ourselves about youth and friendship, and straddles, expertly, childhood’s imaginary worlds and painful adult reality?crafting a true, immediate portrait of female adolescence.

Claire Messud, one of our finest novelists, is as accomplished at weaving a compelling fictional world as she is at asking the big questions: To what extent can we know ourselves and others? What are the stories we create to comprehend our lives and relationships? Brilliantly mixing fable and coming-of-age tale, The Burning Girl gets to the heart of these matters in an absolutely irresistible way.

Who wants to go back to middle school with us?!

Page Goals:

  • Finish Part 1 by November 10
  • Finish Part 2 by November 20
  • Finish the book by November 30, and join us at our discussion!

Our discussion will be 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 30 at University Book Store in the U-District. You know the drill - RSVP for your spot by emailing

Pick up your copy at University Book Store!