Gridley Girls

2016 USA Best Book Awards: Fiction: LGBTQ, Finalist
2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards: General Fiction Finalist

Meg Monahan is hosting the wedding of her dreams for her best friend, Anne Calzaretta, while also keeping a secret she’s not prepared to face, let alone share. On the eve of the wedding, Meg and Anne flash back to high school, when things seemed so much easier to Anne. Meg doesn’t remember it that way. Torn between her half- Mormon upbringing and her yearning for adventure, Meg feels like she just might lose her mind.

Meg, Anne, Jennifer, and Tonya were known as The Group in their rural town of Gridley, California, in the 1970s. Now living professional lives in Sacramento, they discover that in many ways they are still trapped by their high school reputations.

In her debut novel, the first in a series based on true events, Meredith First tells a timeless story about the bonds of friendship, loss, betrayal, and the forgiveness that is within everyone.

Author: Meredith First

Publication Date: June 21, 2016




2016 USA Best Book Awards: Fiction: LGBTQ, Finalist
2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards: General Fiction Finalist

“Old friends reminisce about their emotional high school years in this debut novel about acceptance… What could plateau as a predictable coming-of-age story takes an interesting turn when the truth about Jennifer is revealed, elevating First’s novel from a bunch of sentimental recollections to an absorbing read. Readers who stick around for the reveal will be rewarded with a tale about two women’s secrets that’s both entertaining and surprisingly touching.”
Kirkus Reviews

“If you remember watching Gilligan’s Island while drinking TAB and jotting your deepest secrets inside the pages of your gold leaf-edged diary, you’ll discover many fond memories in the Gridley Girls. An enjoyable story of friendship and love, 1970s style.”
―Kaira Rouda, USA Today best-selling author of The Goodbye Year

“Amazing debut novel alert! Gridley Girls is a parade of emotions and an ode to the ways we rediscover ourselves in old friendships… ancient betrayals and shocking duplicities are illuminated in this page-turner about the power of friendship and the strength of forgiveness.”
Working Mother

“A timeless fiction tale inspired by four high school girls in Gridley, CA. Meg Monahan is preparing to host the wedding of her childhood B.F.F. when tragedy strikes, forcing a re-examination of the past for everyone involved. Alternating between the present and their 1970’s glory days, Gridley Girls explores the lives of the four friends in “The Group” and the secrets they’ve protected for decades. This coming-of-age story is a touching tribute to the power of friendship.”
Sunset Magazine

“Based on true events, this stunning debut novel is about loss and friendship, secrets and forgiveness.”
―Brit + Co

“Two friends revisit their shared past in a tale that is at times outrageously funny and soberly honest. Think Erma Bombeck meets Judy Blume…readers will revel in the sounds and sensibilities of the ’70s in this witty, poignant and captivating novel.”
―Chico Enterprise Record

About the Author

Meredith First left an insanely great recruiting career with Apple, Inc. to write the books that were literally haunting her dreams — books for anyone who survived high school with a little help from friends. After studying abroad at the University of London, she received a B.A. in Communications/Broadcasting from Oregon State University.  Through the donation of 10% of her income from Gridley Girls,  she hopes to help people who struggle with similar issues that she experienced.  She lives with her family in Minneapolis and Sacramento and is hard at work on Gridley Girls Reunited, book two in the Gridley Girls series.