Revised by Karen Andreola
What can be more beautiful than the budding and blossoming of girlhood? Those years of transition from childhood to womanhood are filled with wonderful interest and promise. But the young feet that travel this way may be unsteady and unsure. Each could use guidance, a helping hand along the way. To encourage our girls to a nobler life and truer ideals is the task of this book.
Far away there in sunshine are my highest aspirations.
I may not reach them,
but I can look up and see their beauty,
believe in them and try to follow where they lead.
[Louisa May Alcott]
"I remember, as a young girl growing up during the 1920s and '30s, receiving Beautiful Girlhood as a gift. Reading it again after many years brought back such good memories. We need to encourage our daughters to desire the same ideals and values today."
Audrey O. Renich
mother of eight, grandmother of twenty-nine, great-grandmother of fourteen
I am assuming that the majority of my readers are tween/teen girls, and that there is a very low chance I even have a few gentlemen, if any, who visit. . . Needless to say, this book is written for girls, obviously. But, to clarify, my review contains no surprise, or otherwise unexpected content. It is perfectly safe. I promise. ;D
I understand that at twenty-one I am pretty much well out of girlhood. Heheh, again, obviously. But that doesn't mean I have to refrain from reading such great resources as this book, right? Absolutely not. If you have just celebrated your tenth, eleventh, twelfth birthday, this book is for you. If you are a grandmother of twenty, this book is for you! I would definitely recommend mothers and daughters to read it together. This is one of those I wish I had five, ten years ago. I believe it would have helped me a great deal.
On to the review.
The very first quote I wrote down was this: "She who does not make the world better for having lived in it has failed to be all that a woman should be." (pgs. 17)
Pretty harsh? Aye! But true.
Throughout the book, the author gives the illustration of a blooming rosebud, using a rose to represent a daughter's change from girlhood to womanhood. What better way of describing a daughter of the King? Good character, modesty, meekness, and gentleness, are just a few virtues which make up beautiful girlhood. "Christ is our Perfect Pattern, and only those who form their lives after Him are building the best character." (pgs. 33)
For the sake of time, I will attempt to keep this brief. =]
Your girlhood, my dear friends, is so important. Do not waste these years by trying to speed it up. Do not wish to be older than you are, because guess what? Someday you will be that age, and unfortunately, life is not a fairytale. You don't have any idea how much I wish it was!
Do not desire to be someone you are not! One of my favorite quotes comes from Dr. Suess.
"Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is youer than you."
Chapter 7 acknowledges the follies of the tongue. Our words are powerful. Even more so as women. We have the power to build up or tear down. "Disrespectful speech is more hateful because it begins at home. Where the girl should be her best she is her worst, for she is always more ugly to her loved ones that to anyone else..." I confess this has been me all too often. And, at times, still is. Behavior and attitudes such as this are to be surrendered at the foot of the cross. Only there can we be changed. But you must first be willing. The quote continues on that same page, "The time will come, my young friend, when you will gaze upon the still form of one you loved, and you will regret with tears and sighs the harsh words you have spoken. Do not lay up for yourself sorrow for that time." Need I say more?
Chapter 19 is a Conversation on Dress. Literally a dialogue between a mother and daughter on the modesty of dress. I could post this whole chapter, it was so good! Mothers, if you ever find yourself in need of a good definition to help you in explaining the subject of modesty, look up this chapter. It covers nearly every question a girl might have on why she should wear this and not that, why others wear what they do, and why she should not, etc. I may dedicate a post on this chapter in the near future. . .
As with all of my reviews, there is so much I am obliged to leave out. So, in conclusion, I will end with another quote from the last chapter (33) and hope you come away with the knowledge that girlhood, though a bit frightening and unexpected at first, is a beautiful design of the path into womanhood. That God desires a close relationship with each of us. And that purity and modesty play a big part in beautiful girlhood. As women, we have power over men. Do not take advantage of this power. Look to your mother or other godly women as an example, search the Scriptures, but most importantly, seek the face of God.
Your parents, especially your mother in this situation, DO know what is best for you, and it pains them to see you rebel against their wishes. Listen to them. Only God knows you best, but your parents are a close second.
"A good woman can be like a star of hope, a beacon-light, a peaceful retreat, to the man who is struggling against the obstacles of the world. In her he can see the ideal of purity and truth, and his manhood will strive to be worthy of her. But if she steps down from the path of true, virtuous womanhood and becomes petty or sinful, she will be his downfall. There is no true woman who does not know that she is in some measure her brother's keeper." (pgs. 204)
I would recommend for ages 10+.