Blueprints for Building Better Girls
Elissa Schappell on her Modern Day "Etiquette" book
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Read an Excerpt
I woke up in my own bed. Alone. Fully dressed, including underwear. Thank you very much. Lucky me because the ballet flats and pink polo shirt weren’t mine, only the jean mini. I like to call it my Houdini skirt because it makes your butt disappear and you can slip out of it even in handcuffs. That’s a joke.
I was feeling pretty good about myself. What a good girl I am, I thought, tucking my comforter up under my chin. You know, who cares... see more
Reading Group Guide
In eight darkly funny linked stories, Elissa Schappell delves into the lives of an eclectic cast of archetypal female characters—from the high school slut to the good girl; the struggling artist to the college party girl; the wife who yearns for a child to the reluctant mother. Their struggles illuminate the common, but rarely discussed experiences, that build girls into women and women into wives and mothers.
In “Monsters of the Deep,” teenage Heather craves intimacy despite her bad reputation at school; years later in “I’m Only Going to Tell You This Once,” she must reconcile her memories of youthful misadventure with her current role as the mother of a teenager who is falling in love for the first time. In “The Joy of Cooking,” a harried mother continues to nurture her adult daughter, Emily, a recovering anorexic; in “Elephant,” we find Emily’s sister, Paige, confiding her ambivalence about motherhood to her new best friend, Charlotte. In “Are You Comfortable? see more