Amy's Reviews > The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing

The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank
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's review
Jan 03, 09

Read in January, 2003

The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing is a compilation of short stories, mostly revolving around the character Jane Rosenal, a sarcastic yet unquestionably endearing New Yorker whose growth we see marked by different events and stages of her life. Each chapter/story leaves Jane with ideas and revelations to ponder about herself, life, relationships, and love, and how all of these things relate to each other. Bank uses the cute analogy of "hunting and fishing" to relate to the process of finding oneself and one's soulmate.

It is surprising that such a quick delightful read can be so insightful and profound at the same time. Bank uses simple language to get her point across, but her words are carefully chosen and her humor is smart and honest. Bank's refreshing style recounts moments that are telling snapshots of Jane's life and the story, with no additional fluff to fill up the pages. She gets across in one sentence what it takes many authors to get across in one chapter. And because she shows more than tells, it leaves the reader with the ability to take from the story what he/she wants. As a result, it is as much the reader's journey as it is Jane's. In funny and serious, tragic and mundane moments, the book never attempts to manipulate the reader's emotions.

My one complaint is that Bank's clever humor extends to all the supporting characters - every character seems to dip into the same wit pool as Jane, with puns and playing on words plentiful, which is a bit distracting. However, this is a small flaw that doesn't take away from the overall enjoyment of the book. There is also a chapter/story tucked in the middle, as told by the point of view of a character never before introduced to the story, and it interrupts the flow of the stories a bit.

This book will leave you with your own questions to ponder about life, and is a timeless story that can be read over and over again. For all the readers out there who read Bridget Jones and were looking for more substance, this is the book for you.

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