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Friday, October 02, 2009



Wow, I need to read this book. My daughter is 18 and it sounds like I needed this book 18 years ago! Better late than never?



I was given this book to review as well. A s a woman, and a mom to a GIRL, I loved it.


I read Odd Girl Out and it was a great book. I didn't have any kids at the time, but I did work at a girls school. I will have to pick this one up.

If you liked this, you would probably like "Why Gender Matters"- I had to read that for school as well and it was fantastic for anyone raising a boy and girl and an easy, interesting read.


I heard this author talking on NPR and was very intrigued. I'm totally the good girl too and could relate to a lot of what she said- things like wanting to keep everyone happy and not rock the boat, even when it means standing up for myself. And things like not having the confidence in myself to speak up for my own worth at work. Very good points.


I always enjoy thorough book reviews because my taste in novels is...well, crap. I'm lucky if I finish a trashy romance novel.


Wonder if that book made it over here - must look into it.


btw - are you on goodreads?


This book sounds like a great tool for me. I have two daughters, 15 and 8, and this sounds like a must read. Thanks for the recommendation.


I think I read her other book, although I might be confusing that with Queen Bees & Wannabes. Anyway, it sounds like a good read, especially for those of us with daughters. But my real question is, are you ever going to give us the inside scoop on your tenure with Parenting.com? I seem to remember you saying something like, once my contract is officially over, I'll have some interesting things to share. Perhaps the "good girl" in you doesn't want to say anything mean? If that's the case, go ahead and be a bad girl because we love gossip!


that sounds exactly like me, Im going to have to pick it up, it sounds so interesting! I wonder if you can turn the information around and use it on yourself? Either way, baby # 2 is on the way and It "its" a girl this would be very useful, i dont want another Me running around!


You sealed the deal on me reading this book. I read a review of it a while ago and said, "Hmm... this sounds like me." My husband read a review of the book and said, "Do you think, maybe, this might be something you'd find interesting." And, even though you really have no idea who I am, I've always related to you and your writing (and thought we would be such good friends if she lived near me in the middle of nowhere Canada)! Library request, here I come! (Sorry, Rachel. I'm poor).


In light of recent personal experience that I may or may not have discussed with you recently, I feel like I lack a foundation in Sometimes Other People Are NOT Good. Is that a Good Girl trait? Assuming everyone is operating from the Good Perspective? That everyone is attempting to take the high road, has good intentions, wants to work stuff out in a genuine way? Because sometimes they don't, and a lifelong Good Girl has absolutely no idea how to deal. Worldview Destroyed!

But my mother is the most assertive (in a good way!) person I know. Of course, I was almost always embarrassed when she WAS assertive (esp on my behalf) but oh how I wish I was more like her! I'll be reading this too.


Was this author following me all this time? Just from your review... I NEED TO READ THIS BOOK!

And Maggie..... did we share a mom? Cuz....wow... did you just want to hide in the department store when your mom was getting all over the clerk about something. Even tho you wish you could do that now?


I'd be interested to read this book ... but not because I see myself in it so much. I wasn't a "bad girl" per say, but I do feel comfortable speaking my mind (even when unpopular) and asserting myself ... particularly now that I'm older. And far, too often, that behavior has gotten me labeled as a *itch or heartless because I didn't fit the typical girl stereotype of smiling politely and agreeing with everyone. Somewhere there has to be a middle ground!


Wow...I JUST had a conversation with a friend of mine (I'm 31, she's 50) about this exact subject. How we are both this way, and really, really wish we could change it about ourselves. Hating confrontation for fear of making people upset or mad at you, crying in response to any confrontation, criticism, reprimand. Taking any criticism or reprimand personally, and automatically thinking they don't like you or are mad at you.

(God, just writing that I realize how ridiculous and childish it sounds....ugh - I'm even annoyed with myself now.)

Anywho...I've never heard of this book, but it sounds like a good read. I'm not sure this late in the game I can change these things about myself (they are all pretty well ingrained, you know?), but I can at least be more aware of it for when I do have kids.

Mrs. D

Reading this review, your thoughts on it, and the other comments was a big relief. I am SO GLAD to hear that I'm not the only person who suffers from The Plight of the People Pleaser. I have been trying so hard to work on this unpleasant aspect of my personality - trying to be more assertive, less terrified of confrontation, less obsessed with how others feel/think/react. It sounds like a really interesting book - maybe even a worthwhile read for a non-mom like me.

Lucy is so lucky that you are aware of this issue and are already working on addressing it.

Parsing Nonsense

This may have been me prior to a a year or two of very awesome therapy. Reading the book would have been cheaper though ;)


Too bad my mom didn't have this book when my sisters and I were growing up!

I wonder if there is any similar type of book for raising boys? (I've got one and another on the way, and I think the balance between being "nice" and being confident/strong-minded is just as tough for boys.)

Sara @ Belle Plaine

My mom is a "Good Girl" and so am I (as a child and an adult). In fact, we were just discussing our doormat tendencies this morning and the hows and whys of why we are the way we are. Perhaps Ms. Simmons can enlighten me further. This is going straight to the top of my library book list.


I should read that, although I don't have a daughter yet (next time!). But I've been concentrating lately on not apologizing, and it's quite surprised me how often I have to suppress the urge. Admitting mistakes and taking responsibility is important, but I think women have this habit of constantly apologizing for things that aren't even remotely our fault, or for things that aren't actually something to aplogize for, like asking too many questions. And I think it's a huge detriment professionally. No one thinks you have anything to apologize for until you actually do, then they think you must have done something wrong. Funny though, i just posted something last night about how being nice is important, dammit.


oh man. I need to get this book because everything you said- EVERYTHING- I could have written. I'm a People Pleaser who avoids conflict to THE END (though I am getting a *little* bit better at this, having my own business & dealing with clients 1-on-1 makes it impossible to avoid it all the time, argh) but I also don't have any major hangups with self-esteem or anything. It's just... I keep my mouth shut a lot of the time and then kick myself later for it. AND I'M THIRTY YEARS OLD! It's almost as if I equate Having An Opinion with Being A Bad Girl, which is silly. But you know.

And I would LOVE for Maggie to not grow up and be like me in that way. I mean, OBVIOUSLY I want her to be a Good Girl in other respects (OMG THE BOYS.) but I'd love for her to be more outspoken than I am. (My husband would totally laugh reading that sentence, thinking 'Jen? NOT OUTSPOKEN? HAHAHAHAHA)

Anyway... thanks for the book recommendation, I'm definitely putting it on my list!


Thanks for the review! I too am struggling with how to raise a confident, authentic (love that word) daughter in a confusing age. Will definitely give this a read!


Very similar to "good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere". That was also a good read, but more for a young woman entering the real world and starting off her professional/personal life. Sounds like a good read!


I am one of those people who comes home from being with friends (friends!) and thinks: "Why did I say that? What if I offended her? Why do I have to be so WEIRD?"

I am reading this from cover to cover, sister. Thank you so much for reviewing this book!

Amy --- Just A Titch

Oooh, I want to read this. As a Good Girl and a middle school teacher, I think it would be helpful :)

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