What's the Girl Worth?
By Christina Fitzpatrick
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780060958756, 416pp.)
Publication Date: July 2003
Sipping on "kiddie" cocktails, eight-year-old Catherine plays a game called "What's the Girl Worth?" with her father and the rest of the regulars at the Blue Lagoon bar. That would be Catherine's last memory of her father ... before he abandons her.
Catherine -- feisty, hard-edged, and weary of men -- has put herself through Boston University working as a cocktail waitress. Wanting to control her future rather than give in to the fate predetermined by her unresolved issues, she takes a summer internship in Madrid. It is in this glamorous city, with the encouragement of her new friends, that she is swept into the seductive Spanish nightlife -- reveling in the exhilaration, the miraculous thrill, of being young and far from home. But it is also where she eventually confronts her past and the man whom she has missed and forever hoped for -- the father who is as foreign to her as the beautiful, bright world of Spain.
Christina Fitzpatrick received her MFA in 1999 from Sarah Lawrence College. She has worked as a bartender for the past ten years. The author of Where We Lived, she has also taught writing at Iona College, Gotham Writers' Workshop, and Valhalla's Women's Prison. She currently teaches ESL in Rome and remains affiliated with Teachers and Writers Collaborative in Manhattan. She divides her time living in New York City and abroad.