Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Coming of Age

I picked up two different books both of which were fast easy reads--one fiction and one memoir that had a shared theme of "Coming of Age in the New Millenium".

I glanced at Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch in the bookstore and picked it up because I thought it was a memoir of a debutante from Charleston, South Caroline gone bad. Instead, it was a novel about a debutante in Charleston, South Carolina gone bad. This book would probably fall into the category of chick lit. It was a funny look at a quirky culture and perfect for a day at the beach or being stranded in an airport terminal. I would still like to read a memoir of a southern debutante. Any recommendations?

Someone (I can't remember who) recommended The Mighty Queens of Freeville to me. Amy Dickinson, the advice columnist for the Chicago Tribune (aka Ask Amy), wrote this memoir about her hometown and the women who raised her. The only problem with this book is that is not really what it is about. Ms Dickinson mentions these women and even visits them now and then, but the main focus of the book is how she gets through a painful divorce and raises her daughter alone. There a few stories of the women she loves bouncing around in the background, but given the title of the memoir, I would expect a much more careful consideration of all the aunts, sisters and her mother and all they did for her. The longest chapter, in fact, was dedicated to a story about her father who abandoned her as a child.

This is not to say that the The Mighty Queens of Freeville is not an interesting memoir. It has a sweet and happy ending and is a compelling story of one woman's story of survival as a single parent, but if you are looking for quirky stories about elders passing on their wisdom, it is not this book.

Any other good stories out there about women finding thier way? Please recommend...


Steph said...

Nothing comes to mind at present, but I'll give it some thought. Thanks for these reviews!

Anonymous said...

I just read "Little Bee" by Chris Cleave, about a Nigerian girl who,fleeing from trackers who have burned her village for the oil that lies beneath it, intersects with a couple, English journalists on a free holiday junket to the beaches of Nigera, whose witness to/ participation in her story is transformative (not all good). Fiction, but a glimpse into a world that makes debutante stories fade into their proper place. My girls love the debutante parts of "She's the Man," a teen recasting of Twelfth Night. MKP