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Publisher's Summary

'The only way to comprehend this tragic story of mine is to write it.'

On the 10th of February 2017, there was a sentencing hearing for murder in the Victorian Supreme Court. The young woman in the dock, who sat quietly with her hands in her lap, had perfect skin and light-brown hair tied back as neatly as a private school prefect's. When the judge asked her to confirm her plea, the young woman answered in a clear and polite voice. 'Guilty, Your Honour.' 

That killer is Mary K. Pershall's beloved daughter, Anna. She is 28 years old, tall and beautiful, with an effervescent wit and a university degree in psychology. She also hears the voices of demons. After Anna finished uni, she just could not meet the demands of adulthood, and the voices became overwhelming. She attempted to silence them with alcohol and weed, with the abuse of her prescribed medication, and with ice. But the evil howling would not stop. 

Award-winning author Mary K. Pershall brings a unique and insightful perspective to a story that is at once devastating and uplifting and proves that a mother's love - even in its darkest hour - can shed light and provide hope to families in crisis. 

©2018 Mary K. Pershall (P)2018 Penguin Random House Australia

What listeners say about Gorgeous Girl

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  • Kim
  • 29-10-2018

Honest

Wow, such a honest story. Highlighting the issues within our hospital and mental heath system. Easy to listen to, enthralling and heartbreaking. Excellent read

4 people found this helpful

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Great read

Very well written, and correct about the mental health system in this country. so sad too.

3 people found this helpful

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Riveting

Such a raw honest memoir of a difficult life dealing with a child with mental illness, a seeming puzzling transient myriad of them. Having worked with people inflicted with such things I could feel her exhaustion frustration and pain and also resentment and guilt for daring to want to have her own life.

2 people found this helpful

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Gut wrenching, uplifting and brilliant

I read about this book in The Guardian, and having a child with a disability I thought there might be some relatable content. Oh my goodness, it was extraordinary. The writer is a gifted storyteller and weaves a clear and cogent narrative, with plenty of emotional punch. The performance by Jennifer Vuletic was superb, a true 11 out of 10.

2 people found this helpful

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A gut wrenching and very sad story

You must read this gut wrenching story. My heart goes out the Mary (and of course the victim and his family) for the horrendous outcome of what could have been avoided had the Australia healthcare system admitted her daughter Anna into long term psychiatric care.

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insight

I thought this was very insightful - this is a struggle to read only because its true. god bless mums

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Terrible

Lost interest when she makes references to signs she had missed, for example: playing with bugs in the garden, making cat sounds all under the age of 5!!! That is normal behaviour for a child so young, statements like this could give the wrong signs to an anxious new Mum.
I also thought the Mother strange that she thought it was normal to play with ougi boards and speak to lost spirits on a regular basis.
I also feel like the author was trying to plug her other books through out this one.
My sympathy goes out to the poor man her daughter killed and his family.
Yes there are problems with acessing help with Mental Health but she still has to be accountable for her actions.

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Great inside to what really

Happens inside the lives of the ppl that deal with this horrible Ice & drugs in the family
Buy the book all monies goes to helping families and groups .
The author needs a medal for that

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A must read!

Amazing true story from the perspective of a mother who tried everything to help her mentally ill daughter from childhood through her many addictions. Couldn’t stop listening!

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I am glad to where the money goes

lm glad any money received from the sale of this book goes to worthy causes and not the authors own pocket. Thank you for writing this book as people who have never dealt with mental illness likely find any information useful and this book is information.

Someone died and that can never be taken lightly. The author bared some of her soul in the writing of this but l for one was not impressed how could anyone be so blinkered to not see that handing drugs to a person so struggling just to deal with general life could ever be a good thing?

Im not letting you off the hook - you helped her - don't think you didn't . And yes dealing with someone with mental health issues is exhausting - so what - she was your daughter and your responsibility- forever your responsibility.

The value add was that you gave a very good list of the support services that many of us might not of known about - your only brownie point.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-05-2019

Waste of a Credit

The performance was okay. But instead of simply telling her daughter's story, the author made excuses for her own non-action and/or poor decisions to enable. Her whiny portrayal of her plight made it difficult to muscle through this book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kathia
  • 19-06-2019

BEST NARRATOR EVER!!!!

I love memoirs, but it's really evident when the protagonist is a real life writer/author.

Gorgeous Girls is a raw story but beautifully written. The narrator, Jennifer Vuletic, is just perfect.

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  • Orla Fitzmaurice
  • 25-03-2019

A very difficult story, well told.

I really appreciated the honesty of the author. It gave me a great insight into what families must go through when dealing with the addiction and mental health issues of their adult children.

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  • JUELS
  • 17-01-2019

Harrowing Mother’s Story

Deep, intriguing but above all a read that any mother should read and digest and be thankful for not being in this position.

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