Told in four voices, this is a story of a girl band out of 1983 Columbia, South Carolina. The leader is its youngest member, Trudy, who has been badly parented, and it shows. She makes poor choices, falls too hard for boys, and needs a lot of attention. Still, she is a fierce friend and a charismatic musician.
She is joined by guitarist Cassandra, a beauty whose face is scarred by the drunk driving accident that killed her mother and bassist Harumi, who is an accomplished classical violinist who dropped her bow for a reason we never learn. The last to join the band is Esther, who is in love with Cassandra and learns the most over the course of the novel.
Warning--it's a sad story, and things don't work out for everyone, but I think it's the better for its ambiguities and unhappiness. It feels real.