What Girls Learn: A Novel

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9780679769446: What Girls Learn: A Novel

A touching novel about girls and their mothers, sibling rivalry and kinship, and the mysterious tug between love and antagonism that lies at the heart of every family.  
 
The year Tilden turns twelve, her mother, Frances, falls in love and moves the family north.  Soon the watchful, wise Tilden and her rebellious younger sister, Elizabeth, are navigating a new household amidst the awkward and alluring terrain of adolescence.  But when Frances suddenly discovers a lump in her breast, her daughters must confront the unpredictablility of her illness.  With heartbreak and humor, these characters exposes a world of secrets and learn to survive in the face of life's contradictions.  
 
This moving, emotionally stirring debut novel will appeal to fans of Anna Quidlen's One True Thing and Mona Simpson's Anywhere But Here. Funny, haunting, and unflinchingly truthful on every page, What Girls Learn is a book that will be read--and cherished-- for years to come.

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Product Description:

In the most moving and emotionally stirring fictional debut since Anna Quidlen's One True Thing or Mona Simpson's Anywhere But Here, Karin Cook gives us a novel about girls and their mothers, about sibling rivalry and kinship, about the mysterious tug between love and antagonism that lies at the heart of every family.  The year Tilden turns twelve, her mother, Frances, falls in love and moves the family north.  Soon the watchful, wise Tilden and her rebellious younger sister, Elizabeth, are navigating a new household amidst the awkward and alluring terrain of adolescence.

But when Frances suddenly discovers a lump in her breast, her daughters must confront the unpredictablility of her illness.  With heartbreak and humor, these characters exposes a world of secrets and learn to survive in the face of life's contradictions.  Funny, haunting, and unflinchingly truthful on every page, What Girls Learn is a book that will be read--and cherished-- for years to come.

Review:

In her debut novel, What Girls Learn, author Karin Cook takes familiar--and familial--territory and turns it neatly on its head. Tilden, the 12-year-old narrator of Cook's tale, and her 11-year-old sister Elizabeth are suddenly uprooted from a hardscrabble life in Atlanta and moved to Long Island when their mother falls in love with a man they've never met. Fortunately, Nick turns out to be a kind man, and the girls' enjoy a temporary stability. Then Frances, their mother, discovers a lump in her breast. While she is hospitalized, her predatory brother arrives, and the sisters are thrown back upon a bond that, although stretched by sibling rivalry, can never be broken.

Karin Cook depicts the inner lives of girls on the verge of adolescence with tremendous insight, and in Tilden, she has found a narrator both eloquent and observant. What Girls Learn explores notions of family and femininity and the transcendence of love, even in the face of loss.

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Book Description VINTAGE, United States, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. What Girls Learn tells the story of two sisters: Tilden, our watchful, wise-child narrator, and her rebellious and risk-taking younger sister, Elizabeth. With a combination of shared secrets and bitter rivalry, they seek to find out more about their mysterious mother, Frances. Part rule-maker, part hopeless romantic, Frances falls for a man her daughters have never met, and moves them from a hardscrabble life in Atlanta to a more permanent home up North. Life with Nick seems to offer a new kind of stability, but soon they encounter a far more treacherous challenge. For just as the girls explode into adolescence, coming into their bodies with rage, awkwardness, and eroticism, Frances discovers a lump in her breast, and a world of doctors and diagnoses, hope and despair, unfolds. In What Girls Learn, Karin Cook challenges traditional notions of family and femininity with both humor and wisdom. Cook reminds us that what seems secure is never entirely safe, and that growing up means learning to love even in the face of loss. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780679769446

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Book Description VINTAGE, United States, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. What Girls Learn tells the story of two sisters: Tilden, our watchful, wise-child narrator, and her rebellious and risk-taking younger sister, Elizabeth. With a combination of shared secrets and bitter rivalry, they seek to find out more about their mysterious mother, Frances. Part rule-maker, part hopeless romantic, Frances falls for a man her daughters have never met, and moves them from a hardscrabble life in Atlanta to a more permanent home up North. Life with Nick seems to offer a new kind of stability, but soon they encounter a far more treacherous challenge. For just as the girls explode into adolescence, coming into their bodies with rage, awkwardness, and eroticism, Frances discovers a lump in her breast, and a world of doctors and diagnoses, hope and despair, unfolds. In What Girls Learn, Karin Cook challenges traditional notions of family and femininity with both humor and wisdom. Cook reminds us that what seems secure is never entirely safe, and that growing up means learning to love even in the face of loss. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780679769446

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