Sunday, August 17, 2008


The Importance of Music to Girls, Lavinia Greenlaw, Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2007, 205 pp

I learned about this book in Susan Salter Reynold's "Discoveries" column in the Los Angeles Times Book Review. She made quite a discovery. It is a memoir of a girl growing up in the 70s and 80s in Great Britain, seen through her relationship to music. I can't express how amazing the book is because I am still trying to figure out how she did it. Lavinia Greenlaw is a poet, so that might partly explain how she distilled twenty years of life into short gem like chapters of pure essence.

Also, though I was a mother while she was growing up; though I grew up in the USA and she in England, I could easily experience through her writing how it was for her. Remembering those moments of pure music throughout my childhood and especially my teen, college and early adult years, was like a gift to me from her. She had her punk, I had Joni, but the music ran deep into our lives and it was how we made sense of our worlds.

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