What if girls weren’t made of sugar and spice? Or, maybe sugar and cayenne pepper? Through happenstance at my library’s last book sale, I found this book and then in another bin, I found a nonfiction book focusing on the hidden culture of female aggression. So dust off your Jagged Little Pill CD or any other angry girl rock you have and let’s go burn down the patriarchy together. (I’ll get the review up for the nonfiction book at…some point. I got behind on my reading and I still need to get my review for the book club up.)
Foxfire takes place in the 50s in upstate New York. If I just said it was The Outsiders, except with girls, it would convey the right emotions and themes, but I think it would be a great disservice to Foxfire. Not only are the members of Foxfire the outcasts of their small town, they have the added “otherness” of being a gang completely comprised of girls. When they fight back against society, against conformity, it resonated a bit more with me than Outsiders did.
To begin with, Legs is their leader. Goldie is the muscle. There’s also Lana and Rita, the quiet one. Monkey, sometimes known as Maddy, was the youngest. Maddy is our guide through the beginning and end of Foxfire. Their first crime against the world is graffiting the car of the teacher that plays grab ass with Rita, effectively getting him run out of town. I know this isn’t the way to do justice, I know that. But crimes against women are so under reported and, if they are reported, not even taken seriously, that it’s hard not to cheer on a bit of vigilantism. In fact throughout the whole book, even up to the gang’s final crime, it’s hard not to cheer on this group of fearless girls, breaking gender norms and being so damn cool.