Sandy H's Reviews > My Little Red Book

My Little Red Book by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff
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's review
May 07, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: global-issues, women-s-issues, non-fiction
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Read from April 20 to May 06, 2011 , read count: 1

I read My Little Red Book on recommendation from a friend and appreciated about half of it. The book is a collection of essays from a women recalling their experience of first getting their period. It's a neat idea--it set out to be an exploration, I think, of how our understanding of ourselves and our relationship with the world is shaped through our understanding of this defining event in the path of womanhood.

However, after reading a bunch of essays with relatively the same idea and experience, frankly, I began to skim a lot of them. The essays that made me stop and read more thoroughly were those written by women from different cultures than my own. It's always interesting to see how life transitions are handled differently. But, unfortunately, that was a minority of the essays. Most of them harkened my own experience pretty closely and, after reading a few that made me smile, nod, or wince empathetically as I recalled my own stories, I didn't have to read those experiences over and over again.

It was an interesting book, and well-done. I just could've used fewer essays overall, I guess. I will say that after finishing it, I was talking with my 18-year-old daughter about the book and asked her what her memories of her first period were and what she remembered about my reaction to it. She laughed and said, "Mom, you'd already given me so many books to read about girls going through puberty I knew exactly what was going to happen so it really didn't phase me at all," or words to that effect. Yay me. And yes, Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret was one of them.

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