‘Anthropology of an American Girl’ by Hilary Thayer Hamann

Anthropology of an American Girl by Hilary Thayer HamannI have a deep connection with books; always have had. It started with my love for ‘The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear‘ and has only grown with age. When I am happy I read silly, romance books. When I am lost, I read books of hope and strong character.

Reading was forced on me in my youth by my mother, who required my sisters and I to read one hour every day. I learned how to read between the lines from teachers in high school and college – who took the time to teach me how to truly feel a book and not just read for the base facts. But it isn’t until recently that I have started reading books for solace, instruction, comfort and for the sheer pleasure of the words. I still occasionally read a trashy romance novel – and love every minute – but I read more predominately to challenge my ideals and expand my thoughts. This novel did just that.

This is a book about an American teenager and her attempt to navigate through the pains of growing – the path she takes to adulthood. She speaks of friendship, womanhood, abuse, feminism, sex, art, rape, suicide, paternal relationships, jealousy, loss, depression, apathy, fear, love and grief.

‘Grief works inside like bees or ants, building curious and perfect structures, complicating you. Grief outside means you want something from someone, and chances are good you won’t get it.’

You sit down with this book and feel yourself getting lost within the pages and the story. You quickly become a confidante of the main heroine, Eveline. And when you finish the 600 page novel, you sit back and wonder how you flew through all those pages so quickly.

You’ll thank me for sharing this life-changing book with you. Run. Run to the library to reserve a copy … or better yet purchase it because this is a multi-read novel. This is one of those books you will want to hand down to your daughter on her 13th birthday and say ‘Welcome to womanhood.’ THESE are the types of books that should be read in high-schools … books that can shape teens into thoughtful and passionate souls.  Read it dear friends, read it because:

‘Sometimes a day is a symbolic day, and you behave symbolically. Sometimes you search inside for a feeling, and, finding none, you remember that no feeling is frequently the most possible feeling.’

This book exemplifies truly passionate writing by an author who really understands womanhood in all its angst. In fact, here is a list of novels that my daughters/nieces/goddaughters will get on their 13th birthday – books that will help shape their character, feed there souls, and remind them that they aren’t alone in their feelings:

  •  ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn‘ by Betty Smith
  • Little Women‘ by Lousia May Alcott
  • Lady Chatterley’s Lover‘ by D.H. Lawrence
  • Women in Love‘ by D.H. Lawrence
  • The Opposite of Love‘ by Julie Buxbaum
  • Anthropology of an American Girl‘ by Hilary Thayer Hamann
  • Speak‘ by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Summer Sisters‘ by Judy Blume
  • The Outsiders‘ by S.E. Hinton
  • Claudine à l’école‘ by Colette

3 thoughts on “‘Anthropology of an American Girl’ by Hilary Thayer Hamann

  1. Hey, just wanted to say I really like your website and blog design a lot 🙂 (also the content, of course) we used very similar colors for our websites!

  2. Jennie – Senor Lawrence writes everything – even the filthy parts – with such class I feel it may be copacetic for even a youthful 13 year old. Plus, poor D.H. has already suffered so much censorship. But the final decision is up to you – I will allow you to edit my book basket as desired … PS> does this mean I get to be your kid’s godmother!?!

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