Emily P. Freeman, Grace for the Good Girl (2011)

As a non-American, non-Christian, I daresay non-religious person, it might look like an odd choice of book.

Oh well, I’m not going to hide it: it was an odd choice, and an odd experience for me. But this year is all about experiences, so I guess, why not?

I chose this book because I do visit Emily Freeman’s blog from time to time, and I like her friendly voice.

I also chose this book because of the Good Girl (because I often feel that I’m too much of one), and I conveniently overlooked the word Grace. What was I really thinking? Who was I kidding? Grace is something that eludes me most times when Christians talk, but that’s okay. I’m still learning to translate it into my language.

The book talked to me in some places, when she’s speaking about masks that Good Girls keep in order to hide their true nature. Sometimes I smile politely when I’d love to bite the other person’s head off. Sometimes I feel all too smug about being polite and nice while many French people around me love to complain and criticize (sometimes, let’s face it, I join the crowd for a fair amount of bitching and a pity party). The book also brought me to see familiar Biblical episodes under a new light, especially the Prodigal son (yes, I’d always sided with the self-righteous other son) and Martha vs. Mary.

But for the rest, I wasn’t in the target of the book so I didn’t quite feel involved. A lot of issues she speaks about seem to me more about people in their 20s, than where I stand now. She obviously ignores the non-Christian people or foreigners, which I totally understand, but I felt that she spoke too much for stay-at-home and privileged moms. What about the professionals? Especially as good girl’s behavior in the workplace is a huge issue (people tell you that it doesn’t get you a raise or a nice job, but I do value nice and cooperating colleagues over rude and selfish ones nonetheless).

Eventually, it showed me even more acutely how different book reading and blog reading are. How come that Emily Freeman’s blog moves me and makes me pause while her book doesn’t really talk to me? Is it because of the format? because I visit the blog on short breaks and long intervals? because the contents are significantly different? or because some subjects “work” better on one medium than another? Probably all those reasons.

Now that bloggers’ books are quite numerous in all fields, what do you make of them? Do you have experience of feeling really different about a person’s blog and book?

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One thought on “Emily P. Freeman, Grace for the Good Girl (2011)

  1. You raise several questions that intrigue me. The one about an author’s book vs blog probably holds the least interest for me. I haven’t read too many but I have seen several self-published ones that make me cringe in the first few paragraphs. Was the authorial voice very different in this book vs her blog? Maybe an editor changed it enough that her voice is different, less compelling or engaging?

    Your questions make me think that it would be interesting to look at the idea of a “good girl” from several perspectives: cultural, ethnicity, class, other religions, etc.

    I have no idea of this writer or what flavor of Christianity she adheres to. My own biases suggest, based on your commentary, one of those branches if American conservative Evangelicals that wouldn’t consider a good girl in the workplace because stay at home mom is often considered the ideal by them. Sounds like the SAHMs were her target. I could be wrong though.

    Still, there would be lots to ponder about certain behaviors in the workplace: too nice and nobody takes you seriously. Too assertive and you’re labeled a bitch.

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