I picked this book up almost accidentally. I love stories about women in the Southern states of America, they tend to be warm, funny stories that you can laugh and cry over and the women in them are good friends to each other. I think they call it GritLit, because the women have got grit, strength of character.
Anyway, I thought that this book was one of those, because of the cover. Boy! This book really blew me out of the water!
It’s the memoirs of a woman called Florence, who was born in 1936, and follows her from birth to her college years as she starts to blossom as a writer, which is how she made her living. Her grandmother was excited to have a granddaughter and tried to raise her to be a southern lady, with varying success, and the household she grew up in was eccentric to say the least. Her mother was an outspoken tomboy and her father a musician from London.
In a lot of ways the book is about what it means to be female, what feminity is, and the Southern values of womanhood that were attempted to be instilled in her, as well as the ways in which society rewards and punishes women for intelligence or beauty. Yes, it’s incredibly insightful, but it’s also so very honest and funny. I absolutely loved this book! I kept giggling over Florence’s commentary or insight, and loved reading about her hysterical but lovely family.
I feel like this book should be some kind of required reading for female life, and if you haven’t read it, I think you’ll really get a kick out of it. I can’t believe that no one had recommended it to me already!
Read It If: you’re a woman. Or anyone really, it’s one of my new favourites. Had me laughing out loud, and sighing along with Florence.