A History Lesson For All of Us

So I said I would review/talk about books on here, and I am. I’m not sure about it though, because the posts that have gotten the most likes/commentary are all fashion related. While I enjoy doing fashion related posts, I also like doing posts about books because books relate to fashion AND EVERYTHING relates to fashion. Strictly limiting this blog to posts about blah blah’s latest show is not only boring (to me at least) but also idiotic.

I read A History Lesson for Girls when I was in sixth or seventh grade. It’s about a girl named Alison who moves with her hipster bohemian parents to an extremely affluent town in Connecticut in 1975 (Weston, to be specific, which still exists today and has the same characteristics) where she begins middle school and soon meets a girl named Kate. Kate is one of those people who is best described as “broken but beautiful.” It sounds cliche, but it’s true. The story is about their relationship and each of their families individually as they deal with moving, Alison’s scoliosis, and Kate’s father. While I know that the descriptions in the book are really rich and while short, still intense, I enjoy the dialogue and the friendship between Kate and Alison the best.

At the risk of sounding like a weird creep, I personally think that friendships between girls in middle school are really interesting, because they’re characteristically young (clingy) but they’re done or created in a very mature way. They’re always built from nothing, and in this case, the foundation of their friendship came back to haunt them.

Teenage girls are the smartest people on the planet; I’ll say it now and I’ll say it again. Kate and Alison aren’t exempt from that; they’re both very perceptive of the world around them and how it’s falling apart and why it is. They both know why they ride on their horses together and why they drink what they drink and hang out with who they hang out with. Alison is a little more observant than Kate, maybe because she’s more quiet or more interested in the people around her, but the way she describes her parent’s marriage and her back and Kate is really sophisticated. I sound stupid saying that because uh, duh, it was written by an intelligent woman who’s written other stories and obviously Alison isn’t 5, she’s not going to litter her thoughts with non sequiturs about ducks and pizza, but I think she captures the way they think well. As in, I MEET PEOPLE who probably thought the same things they did (since I’m older than Alison Kate where supposedly in the story.)

I’d really like to have a discussion about this because it’s really one of my favorite books EVER and nobody else has seemed to have read it so if any of you have, start a discussion in the comments below, it’s much appreciated.


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