Shanna's Reviews > Good Christian Bitches

Good Christian Bitches by Kim Gatlin
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's review
Jul 28, 2009

it was ok

There are so many things wrong with this book!!! Grammar for one thing - the main character, Amanda, insists the word 'children' be used rather than 'kids' but in the very next breath she says things like "I've gotta hand it to you..." The overuse of the word 'got' is, in my opinion, astonishing considering the many creative ways one might choose to articulate an idea. The author tries to portray Amanda as well educated, wholesome and the all together sweet girl-next-door type and who was brought up in, what is presumably, one of the best areas around. Yet she consistently uses words that make her sound like she's from the wrong side of the tracks.

We're also led to believe that Amanda's mother, at 62 years of age would have a dialogue which rivals that of a 13 year old when she announces "I'm like, at least get your story straight". I don't know about you but as a general rule, women of a "certain social status" and age do not speak like they're about to go hang out at the mall.

Another beef I had with this book is the serious lack of parental authority Amanda has with her son. I know the woman is supposed to be going through a divorce and what with all the ladies' gossip goin' on in Big 'ol Texas what's a girl to do but to focus all her energy on ever'thin' but her offspring?! But seriously? When her son, Will, announces that he "spent the day skateboarding" when he should have been in class, the best Amanda can muster in the form of reaction was to turn to her daughter Sarah, ignoring Will's confession, and, as Will skated away, "his ears plugged with his iPod buds", ask how her day was.

Then of course there is passage where Amanda's mother essentially tells her that God was putting an anonymous (and obviously rich) gift giver in Amanda's life so that she didn't have the unfortunate experience of becoming "another forty-something, lonely divorcee, chasing after what available men there are..." Wow, right? It's made perfectly clear how the author must feel about those poor women who were picked over for the prettier skinner girls ...

Which leads me to my final major issue with this book: While walking Sarah, her 9 year old daughter to school, Sarah "looked doubtfully at the other students" and in a concerned tone she whispered "Mommy, there are so many fat kids." Now I understand that at 9 a girl may very well find it odd to see kids of different shapes and sizes and to even spout it out loud. But Amanda, instead of explaining to Sarah the benefits of getting past other kids' bodies and to get to know them as people before passing judgment, Amanda says "I'm sure you'll find some other students who are just as committed to healthy eating as you are." Huh. Lesson learned.
Though I guess I can't be too surprised when six pages into the book Amanda must remind herself that the nice thing about her church is that it attracts a "broad socioeconomic range of constituents and women whose net worth was probably a negative number could sit comfortably, or at least relatively comfortably beside a woman who was clearly and unabashedly Texas rich and they could study the Bible together" - of course this was AFTER she noticed the "grossly overweight woman in sweats". Amanda took note that not only was the woman wearing sweats (the horror) but also that they weren't even Juicy or Nike (OMG NO WAY!) At this point Amanda also made the most obvious assumption that the woman, in her "cheap, tacky sweats" would "when the urge for exercise arose, lay down until it passed."

This book, I'm ashamed to admit did hold my attention if only by horror and a train wreck-like fascination.
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Reading Progress

July 28, 2009 – Shelved
Started Reading
August 1, 2009 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Amber Freeland I see your point but that is exactly how women in that area talk, act, and think. It doesn't matter if you have a PhD, we still say "gotta" and "fixin to" and "bless your heart" and turn simple one syllable words into two with our terrible Texas drawl. That doesn't make her from the "wrong side of the tracks." I agree with your comments about her mother though. That was just wierd. And I was a little surprised at the description of the HPMS "kids" as fat. I've been there and in HP - there aren't near as many "fat" kids as in the rest of the metroplex. Finally, as for the comments on her parenting skills (especially with Will)... well I'd be a very rich woman if I had a dollar every time I saw an example of that kind of over-indulgent, undisciplined type of parenting around here. It's rampant, as far as I can see, but I can't believe she didn't address him skipping school! I don't know of a single parent - especially in HP - who would tolerate that from a child his age. It's just a cheap, entertaining beach read that hits a little too close to home.

Diane Lighten up!

Batsheva Bat-avraham Amanda not talking to her daughter re: shaming the other children about body size or eating habits showed that she was not better than the "Christian bitches" she was fighting against and looking down on. Sarah made constant snide comments about "fat people" and food but she had learned that from her mother who had the horrible assumption of the woman in her "cheap, tacky sweats" while assuming she was a lazy person. Yet, she is so aggrieved when another child threw Sarah's body/food shaming back on her. It was an easy read. The book shows how the apple does not fall far from the tree and how cliques still are common with most organisations.

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