Book Review: The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing

The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing

Melissa Bank

Penguin Books

304 pages

Jane Rosenal is an urban girl learning all she can about love and growing up.  The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing starts off the summer of her fourteenth year when Jane is staying at her parent’s summer house and watching her older brother’s attempt at love.  From there, the book is broken up into short stories dealing with different time in Jane’s life.  The majority of the book deals with her relationship with an older man who is a well known editor.  Their May- December romance (that’s how the saying goes, right?) has a lot of turmoil, mostly due to the boyfriend’s egregious use of alcohol.

This book was highly lauded when it came out just over a decade ago, so I had high hopes.  I love a good coming of age story.  Unfortunately, I was let down.  I had a hard time connecting with Jane and the format of the book didn’t help matters at all.  I hadn’t realized that I was getting short stories instead of a linear narrative, so I never found my footing with that either. There was one story in particular that seemed to have absolutely nothing to do with Jane, and it was the only one in the bunch where she wasn’t the focus, so that left me even more confused.

I’ll admit, it is harder for short stories to win me over, so this book had that going against it from the start.  Even so, I can’t say I would recommend it.

Here’s the Penguin Ink edition.  Isn’t it cool?  This is the version I wanted and had I not seen the Penguin Ink cover, I probably would have never decided to read this book!

Other Reviews:

Fingers & Prose

I received this book as a gift.