I found the prose of Caitlin Flanagan’s Girl Land to be engaging and conversational. I enjoyed the brief analyses of related literature (Are you there, God? it’s Me, Margaret, Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl, etc.) and many of the author’s personal anecdotes. It didn’t bother me so much that much of the discussion was about white, suburban, upper/middle-class and the author’s own experiences because she freely and often admits this throughout. Even though I personally didn’t relate to some of the chapters, especially on diary-writing and hysteria over prom, I still found the book to be interesting and somewhat thought-provoking. However, I did not like how presumptuous it was for the author (an admitted mother of boys) to give advice on raising daughters (I have not started a family of my own yet, for the record). Not that I think her advice is bad—it could be applied to boys as well—just the audacity by which it was presented bothered me. Overall, a harmless and interesting quick read to introduce you to the subject of gender issues (specifically female adolescence) and twentieth century to modern culture.
Read from January 10 to 16, 2012.