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The Girls – Lauren Ace and Jenny Lovlie

Rogan’s Reviews is all about getting our customers to review books and make this resource part of the community and Primrose (3) – with some help from Jo (35) were more than willing to oblige!
This weeks review comes from them and they have read the lovely ‘The Girls’. This is a Rogan favourite after the shop window art we had based on this book, and so we were delighted our customers loved it!
Once there was a tree that grew little girls as well as apples…’
Writer Lauren Ace introduces four little girls who choose an apple tree as their meeting place, following them throughout their childhood years. Each girl has her own unique character but the bond they form is strong. As they develop into teenagers, then young women, the girls champion one another’s highs but also share the burden of their respective lows.
As adults, the girls enhance the world in their own ways – professionally, spiritually and through their own children. Yet they remain true to one another, meeting up under the tree each time they return home. Another reason why ‘The Girls’ is a favourite of mine is that it portrays the girls doing things that have traditionally been the domain of boys and men: seeing them climbing trees, playing sport, studying science, going to uni, getting muddy, mountaineering, being doctors and professionals… It subtly but surely subverts these gender stereotypes. More books like this are needed.
Jenny Lovlie could not have been a more perfect illustrator this story. I can’t imagine the girls and the world they live in looking any different – her ability to depict the their emotions through simple facial expressions; the colour palette; the nods to her Scandinavian roots; the seasonal changes to the tree… they all combine to create the most beautiful accompaniment to Lauren’s words.
It took a while to read this book without welling up. Seeing P delighting in the story whilst thinking about her beginning her own life journey, and simultaneously thinking of the enduring friendships of mine that began in childhood and more recently, was a bit of a rollercoaster. We have already purchased a copy for a little friend of hers but I feel like buying a copy for MY best friends – it really is a powerful testament to the roots and branches of lifelong friendships, with all their twists and turns.
Jo and Primrose are correct, it makes a lovely gift – especially the beautiful hardback edition – which is why we have plenty of copies in for Christmas!
If you want to hear more about Primrose’s introductions to the world of stories, you can follow along on instagram – @thelittleliterarysociety