The Forgotten Girls: A Memoir of Friendship and Lost Promise in Rural America by Monica Potts is a tender, personal examination of girls' and women’s lives in rural Arkansas. Potts, a journalist, wants to answer the question of why poor white women in rural areas of the country are dying at an increasing rate. She uses her hometown of Clinton, Arkansas, to investigate, and the book also has a deeply personal connection. Potts and her childhood best friend, Darci, led very similar lives until middle school when Darci began to get involved with boys and drugs and began missing school. While Potts’s more disciplined upbringing led her to Bryn Mawr and Washington, DC, Darci’s life spiraled out of control as she slid into violent relationships, drug addiction, and homelessness. Potts shows how systemic problems--lack of healthcare access, widespread unemployment, and a failing local economy--lead someone like Darci to struggle.