"The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing" Melissa Bank

This is a totally unexpected book.

While the book reviews I've read said this was a series of stories, I thought of it more as a novel told in several parts, over several years. There is one story which does not have the same protagonist, but only one.

Each of the stories concerns Jane, whom we first met as a teenager. Jane is learning how to become a woman, then how to be a woman, and, finally, how to be herself and still be happy. The title of the book doesn't refer to actual hunting and fishing (which in many ways was a disappointment; I was looking for a stereotype-busting book), but rather to a book every woman has heard of: The Rules. The Rules was written several years ago, and supposedly told women the rules to catch a man. No one I know admits to having read The Rules; I have no idea how many women actually read them.

But long before Jane gets to The Rules, she goes through the break up of her brother and his girlfriend, a boss who's manipulative, and a relationship with an older man. Although you may not have gone through these exact situations, chances are good that you have learned the same lessons through different experiences. Learning is the key to all of the stories. Although we all learn differently, we often learn the same lessons, like not getting too attached to our brother's girlfriend. (I still miss Dee, my favorite of my brother's girlfriends. If you are out there, Dee, drop me a line!)

In the end, whether you like this book or not (and I'm not sure if I liked it), it is thoughtful material. Because it is definitely written for women, it may not be appropriate for men. And it is not appropriate for younger girls, as there is much sexual content, and other adult themes.

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