untitledGirlwood By Claire Dean

Last year my Aunt gave me this book for Christmas and since then every time I talk to her she asks me if I’ve read it. I knew going in that it would not be my type of book and normally I wouldn’t read it but since it was a gift and seemed so important I read it anyway. I tried not to let my attitude affect what I thought about the book, but I’m not sure if I succeeded.

First off the cover is beautiful. It brings to mind a gorgeous fantasy world, or a nature goddess,  and that is something I really like. The book however is not fantasy. There are fairies and aurous, but they are only seen by a thirteen year old girl. I don’t believe the author meant for it but the girl the story is about comes off as someone that has a mental disorder and is developmentally challenged. She has a hard time relating to people and feels more comfortable in the woods. She also gets angry at her best friend any time she questions her or doesn’t immediately side with nature.

The entire family is kind of weird, which is normally not a bad thing to me, but these people just seemed very self absorbed. The mother wants the father to go back to being a lawyer and the father wants to live in a cabin in the woods with no electricity making stuff with wood. Neither is willing to compromise, and at the end of the story you think hey maybe they’re going to work out but it’s only because the mother has woken up and realized that nature is better than living in civilization. The other daughter, the one that runs away at the beginning, is also very self absorbed. She ran away and lived in the woods while pregnant not letting anyone know that she was alive letting her family think she was dead. Except that the little girl “knew” that she wasn’t cause she had some sense about these things. She knew when trees in her favorite grove were being cut down and she knew when her grandmother was dying.

The whole book was really just a way for the author to describe nature and what you can do with plants. I enjoy nature but not on this level. I don’t believe that we should all live in cabins in the wood with no amenities and forage for food. And that’s the philosophy that she pushed through the entire book.

Reading the author blurb the story evidently came to be because her daughter asked her to write a story about good stuff, magic, fairies, and girls. Cause thinking your child is possibly dead when in reality she’s living in the wilds of Idaho through multiple blizzards while pregnant is a good thing. Maybe that’s not fair since the book was written from the younger daughters perspective and that’s more the parent’s point of view. From the younger daughter’s point of view the story is how she got to disobey her parents and spend time in the woods freaking them out at every turn until they realize that being alone in the woods with a dangerous wolf pack is ok and they all lived happily ever after.

1.5/5 stars (I really liked the cover)

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