Jayme's Reviews > Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls

Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher
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May 01, 09

Read in May, 2009, read count: 2

I first encountered this book in the early-90s. I literally sat on the floor of my local Border's and read the entire thing cover-to-cover. The stories the author shares of girls' lives are incredibly riveting. It's a very good read. She mixes analysis with relevant anecdotes, which keeps the pace going.

The book discusses the turbulence lives of adolescent girls and offers strategies for parents and caregivers to ease the transition to adulthood. The book is a bit dated - the author is talking about my generation (I was in my early 20s at the time I read it, and she based the book on her 10+ years of experience as a therapist).

When I first read this book, I could relate to it in a very direct way. It was interesting reading it again in my late 30's. My frame of reference has shifted. I'm now looking at these stories in context to friends' children and to the young people I teach in my classes. I'm also coming from a place in my life where I've figured out many of my 'Big Questions'. I believe I've rediscovered the 'authentic self' the author talks about in her book.

The world has definitely shifted in the past 15 years and it would be interesting to hear the author's take on how the Internet and social networking has affected the experiences of teen girls and their mental health. I imagine that 'cyber-bullying' would be a hot topic, as would increasing dangers in schools, including Colombine-style school shootings.

Unfortunately, Mary Pipher hasn't written a follow-up book on this topic (she did write a book about families). Her latest book explore personal spirituality and Buddhism. I'd like to read it.

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