What Girls Learn: A Novel

What Girls Learn: A Novel

by Karin Cook
4.0 28

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What Girls Learn 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read this book many times and each time I seem to cry a little bit more. Maybe I'm just a ridiculously pathetic person or maybe it's because each time I read it, it becomes more real then the last time. People may not like it and that's to bad that they can't see it for the work of art it really is. This book is true to growing up a teenage girl in the midst of a family crisis.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Procession provides a better ending to the novel because the girls are finally able to accept their Mama's death. Elizabeth and Tilden show that they are going to be able to take care of each other and they fulfill their Mama's wish of appreciateing their sisterhood. Procession brings the novel full circle because it began with the three girls together and it ends with the three of the girls together, but now Tilden is leading them on a new adventure. The girls come to terms with their future and now know that they have to look out for one another because their Mama will no longer be physically able to. The end of this chapter has 'an airy open feeling of potential' (298). The reader feels resolution because he/she knows that the girls will be able to move on and that they will always have the presense of their mother with them in their hearts.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that Procession gives the novel more resolution than Memory and I do not think that both chapters are needed for a conclusion. Procession provides the acceptance of Mama's death and fulfills Mama's wish that the girls take care of eachother. The chapter Procession also brings the book full circle because in the beginning it was just the three of them and in the end it is Tilden, Elizabeth, and Mama's urn that are still together but now Tilden is in the driver's seat. The girls know that they can't physically be with Mama anymore, but they know that they will always have the spirit of Mama with them and the memory of her forever. Procession is a better resolution to the novel because it also ends the book on a positive note because Tilden feels 'an airy open feeling of potential' (298), and that shows that Mama's saying of 'just wait and see' is true because the girls are going to end out on top.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this story about the struggles that many girls have to endure while growing up. It surprised me that the book had two endings; I really felt that Procession would have been a more appropriate true ending to the novel. This is where the novel is tied together. Tilden, Elizabeth, and Frances' stories come together in the car here, whereas Memory focuses more on Tilden's personal struggles after her mother's death. I also noticed that in Procession the chapter ends as the entire novel began. The three women all together driving in the car really sums up the themes of family and companionship that are apparent throughout the entire novel. Memory almost seemed more like it could be a beginning to a sequel to this story. I think that Memory would make an excellent opening chapter to a story written about Tilden's life after her mother's death.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a phenominal 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 last chapter, memory is a great ending to the novel. It not only provides the two main characters views on the death of their mother but also recalls the way their mother will be remebered. After an event as devestating as the death of a mother a reader can only guess what feelings and emotions go through someones head. Memory makes such a great ending because it clears that unfathomed terain. The novel ends with the memory of their mother that will shape them throughout their lives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading What Girls Learn, I was faced with the question of which of the last two chapters was the true or better ending? Both chapters, 'Procession' and 'Memory' brought a sense of closure to the novel, but I would have to say that 'Procession' was more successful in creating a resolution. This novel was very heartfelt and emotional, and it really portrayed the bond between a mother and her two beautiful daughters. The novel opened with the three Burbank girls (Tilden, Elizabeth and Frances)together and it showed how amazing of a relationship the three girls had. They were very comfortable around each other, and the reader could easily distinguish just how much they relied on eachother for motivation, support, love and care. They made eachother whole, and I noticed that at the end of 'Procession', the three Burbank girls were together, once again. The ending of that chapter correlated with the beginning of the novel, and it made a great connection. The chapter 'Procession' showed that the girls were obviously deeply saddened by their mother's death, but they also realized that their mother, Frances, would have wanted them to continue on with their lives. In this chapter, Tilden and Elizabeth are getting ready for their first day back to school. Their whole summer was spent caring after their sick mother, almost in anticipation and fear of her soon-to-come death. When Frances finally passed away, the girls only had eachother to lean on and support. Their relationship really grew and became stronger in 'Procession' as they helped prepare each other for their new year at school. They knew and understood that they had to keep moving and continuing with their life. It was as if a chapter in their life had closed, and a new chapter was just beginning. The chapter ends with Tilden driving her mom's car, with Elizabeth in the passenger seat, and their mom's ashes in between them. The joy ride gave them a sense of freedom, and it allowed them to believe in the idea of potential for continuing on with life. Tilden took on a new role, and almost matured greatly overnight. The 'three' Burbank girls drove off into the night, together...again...just as the novel had began. It was a very touching and moving moment. 'Procession' would have made a great ending to the novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Because there are two different plot lines in the novel, there are also two different endings. I think the chapter Procession is very significant because it shows that Tilden and Elizabeth have stopped fighting over their differences and learned to cherish their friendship as sisters. The book begins with the mother and the two daughters together, and as Procession closes, they are together again. Throughout the story there are many conflicts and unanswered questions but at the end of this chapter the reader feels satisfied and happy with the fact that the girls are accepting their sisterhood and doing what Mama had always wanted - getting along. I think the chapter Procession is the better of the two endings because it shows the resolution of the sisters' relationship and how they learn and grow together.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I feel that although the double-ending concept is confusing at first, it really brings complete closure to the book. They seem to have nothing to do with each other, however, that is the way it was intended (in my opinion). In the novel, Cook weaves two separate plot lines together to give one overall feeling to the book. That feeling is one of reality; it is a feeling that is mixed between two opposite emotions and is full of uncertainty. One ending sums up the main character's ordeal with her mother, and the other sums up her journey through her teenage years. By giving two endings that convey two different feelings Cook is continuing this idea of two plot lines. Personally, I think that the way the end of the novel was structured brings proper closure to all areas of the book and leaves the reader questioning what the main character is really thinking (just like the character herself does not know what will become of her future). But, I gave the book three stars because I did not find it that interesting or unique.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a teenager I loved Judy Blume's ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT'S ME MARGARET. Tilden, the young main character in WHAT GIRLS LEARN, reminded me so much of Margaret. There were many aspects of her life that she was dealing with on top of puberty and becoming a young adult. She struggled and triumphed. Loved the book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book for school and absoloutly loved! It really helped me understand some points of adolesence. My own mother being a survivor of brain cancer, I could relate to the story very well. I would recomend this book to all girls of all ages!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a favorite!! It gave a good view into a girls mind and had a good story line, it didnt get boing once!! A heart warming tale, although a little of a tear jerker, should be on everyones list.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm amazed with Ms. Cook's ability to capture, so eloquently, the voice of adolescence. A moving read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book for women of all ages. It brought back many memories of growing up. It was a pleasant surprise!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wonderful, I didn't want to put it down. It's clear, concise, truthful writing at its best. Believable and heart-wrenching.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It is a true story and it is very emotional! I could not put this book down and finished it very quickly. I am 13, and i can realate to many of the topics this book covered. This is my faviorate book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't really know how to rate it because I did not read the book ,but I am planning on buying the book so I can read it .Then I will see if my rating was right.Rachel
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am not an advid reader, however, stumbling into this book was an awarding experience. This book is an emotional rollercoaster; it takes you through the life-journey of a mother and her two daughters. I highly recommend this book for any female (or male) to read!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first read this book when I was thirteen, and just finished it for the second time now at fourteen. The book hits home in so many aspects for me. Peer pressure, being in the shadow of someone better than you...But it made me cherish my mother more than ever. One of the few books that has made me cry. It's my favorite, plain and simple.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a 14 year girl. As I read this book I realized how much I could relate it to my life. With all the pressure of pot, sex, and alcohol at school, this book, I felt, could really relate to my life. Each character represented a part of me; wheter it be a friend, family member, or a part of my own self. This book was exceptionally well written. I would recommend it to ANYBODY. Not just teeange girls, and not just girls. The joys and pains of this book make it life-like and a page turning book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Noticed a book review in Glamour Magazine and decided to get it. I was sure glad that I did.I couldn't put it down and enjoyed the reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am left nearly speechless. What Girls Learn is the most powerful and amazing novel I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I was sad to see it come to an end, for I felt as though I had lost a friend in Tilden. I am eager for Karin Cook to come out with her next book; her writing style is flawless.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book to read. It accurately describes life as a pre-teen, and is very realistic. I would recommend this book to teens, but not to young girls. Some material may be inappropriate.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel was defenitly a girl book. I really enjoyed it and could relate to a lot of it, being a teenage girl. Some negatives were that at times I had a hard time getting into my reading. Each time I picked up the book it was a little slow, then after a few pages I got into the story and enjoyed it. I also really liked the story, but it was fairly predictable. I still got very emotional about the end, though. It is a quite accurate about the feelings of teenage girls while growing up. The ending was pretty heartbreaking, so beware. I think it opens your eyes to appreciating things that are often taken for granted, such as family, your childhood, and especially the relationship between a mother and daughter. The ending was typical, but still good. It defenitly served its purpose of making you feel the same emotions as the girl going through the ordeal does in the book. All in all I really liked the book and would recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After finishing the novel, I understand that this story essentially contained two plots. One plot was about what girls experience in the process of growing up. The other plot was about the different levels of experience these little girls go through in the process of losing their mother to cancer. I believe that the chapter 'Procession' was essentially the resolution to the plot regarding girls growing up, whereas the chapter 'Memory' served as the resolution to the plot regarding losing a mother. I personally feel that 'Procession' was the true resolution of the novel because it brought both ideas/plots together. The two sisters found closure in the chapter of 'Procession' when they took one last drive together with their mother. The oldest daughter, Tilden, took her mother's place in the driver's seat, symbolically showing how she has grown into a responsible young woman. Also, it shows how the two daughters have already begun to live out their mother's wish, because they have come together and learned how to respect and love one another. Tilden shows how much she cares about her sister and how she has taken her mother's place as her youmger sister, Elizabeth's caretaker. She is more respectful and loving to her and helps her get ready for her first day of Junior High School the next day. Elizabeth also shows how she has beome closer to her sister when she tells Tilden that she never really hated her. This is her way of showing that she truly loves Tilden and that since their mother's death she has realized that they must take care of each other now. I feel that this chapter brings the most closure the novel, whereas the chapter 'Memories' is a chapter which expresses how Tilden is dealing with the loss of her mother a few more years down the road.