Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Grand Central Publishing|January 31, 2012|Trade Paperback

Story Description: 

Madora was seventeen, headed for trouble with drugs and men, when Willis rescued her.  Fearful of the world and alienated from family and friends, she ran away with him and for five years they have lived alone, in near isolation.  But after Willis kidnaps a pregnant teenager and imprisons her in a trailer behind the house, Madora is torn between her love for him and her sense of right and wrong.  When a pit bull puppy named Foo brings into Madora’s world another unexpected person – Django Jones, a brilliant but troubled twelve-year-old boy – she’s forced to face the truth of what her life has become. 

An intensely emotional and provocative story, LITTLE GIRL GONE explores the secret hopes and fears that drive good people to do dangerous things…and the courage it takes to make things right. 

My Review: 

Madora Wells, at twelve years of age loses her father.  He walked into the desert one day and put a bullet in his brain. Yuma, Arizona is located on the flats with single-story buildings and a lot of heat and wind.  Madora’s Mom, Rachel, told her that Yuma killed her father and was killing her too.  Rachel, not dealing well with the loss of her husband soon forgot about Madora and stopped caring for her.   Madora never really understood why and no one talked to her about it.  This, of course, had huge repercussions on this youngsters developing mind. 

Madora was failing in school, drinking and getting herself into the drug craze and at age seventeen tries the drug crank for the first time.  Her: “…head exploded in white light and there was no yelling or talking, no music anywhere, just a burning pain as if her head were an egg and someone had thrown it against the wall.”  She stumbled out onto a porch where she met Willis Brock who told her: “Willis won’t let anything bad happen to you.”  This would be the beginning of five years of hell. 

Madora, now twenty-two and Willis were living in the Laguna Mountains in Evers Canyon.  The closest town was Arroyo and San Diego lay only 30 miles west of them.  They had lived in their three bedroom house at the end of Rock Road for almost four years.  Out back of the house was a run-down trailer where Willis kept a pregnant sixteen-year-old girl he had kidnapped and kept tied.  Madora’s days were filled with cleaning the girl and feeding her while Willis worked as a health care provider and prior to that as a Medic in the Marine Corps which he figured gave him licence to deliver a baby.  Wills wanted to attend medical school and was selling Linda’s baby to lawyer for $25,000 to help fund his education. 

Django was a twelve-year-old boy who had just lost both his mother and father in a car accident.  His father was a millionaire and one of the best known rock guitarists of all-time.  They lived in a sprawling mansion in Beverly Hills.  After their deaths, Django ended up living with his aunt, Robin Howard, who he’d never met and she’d never married and wasn’t used to children.  She lived in Arroyo. 

One day while riding his bicycle, Django comes upon Madora and Willis’s house and begins to visit Madora during the day while Willis is at work.  Willis would have a fit if he knew that Madora allowed this young boy, or anyone else for that matter, to visit their home.  She had to be extremely careful that no traces of the boy were left behind or that Linda didn’t tell Willis that Madora had company during the day. 

Willis is a strange, strange man who closes himself off to the people closest to him but acts the part of an intelligent and friendly person during his work hours.  Is he prone to extreme mood changes and one just never knows what exactly he is thinking.  He is one sick individual.  However, Madora puts up with him because she feels that was the price she paid for being loved and knowing that Willis would never leave her, she thought that he needed her as much as she needed him.  Madora wasn’t the smartest bulb in the pack and Willis was able to manipulate her mind and get her to do anything he wanted.  That is until Django happened upon the scene. 

Django is an extremely intelligent boy who pours his heart and soul out to Madora but she thinks half the stories he tells herare  bogus and a figment of his imagination.  Well, she soon finds out that what Django presented himself as was completely true and the stories that he told her were also true. 

This was a remarkable story and reads like a work of non-fiction.  We’ve read so many news stories about the very issues presented in this book that you have to keep reminding yourself that the story is really fiction.  Drusilla Campbell certainly knows her way around penning a dramatic page-turner.  This is one novel you won’t want to miss reading!

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