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History Lesson for Girls: A Novel History Lesson for Girls: A Novel

by Aurelie Sheehan

Book Reviews

"This wistful, gentle novel has something surprisingly harsh to say about coming of age in a culture of self-indulgence and spiritual foolishness." 
--Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Subtle and moving."
--O, The Oprah Magazine (Summer Fiction Pick)

"Funny, nimble . . . honest. The truest novel that I've found in ages."
--Koren Zailckas, author of Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood

"Poignant . . . Tragedy looms, as Sheehan reminds her readers that heartbreak is a requisite part of growing up. Three stars."
--People

"Sheehan's writing is often bull's-eye perfect."
--Entertainment Weekly

"Wise and refreshing . . . [Sheehan's] language remains carefully off-kilter, gorgeously specific and shot through with unobtrusive wit . . . Lyrical, assured, heartbreaking." 
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Sheehan juxtaposes small moments the way an artist uses colors, creating potency and meaning with immediate contrasts . . . Tender, unflinching, and distinctive view of how girls grow up."
--Booklist

"Alison Glass, the insightful and lively thirteen-year-old narrator-protagonist of History Lesson for Girls, Aurelie Sheehan's second novel . . . reminds us once again why girls' voices and stories matter."
--Chicago Tribune

"Sheehan catches with consummate skill those perilous moments when girls gallop into the unknown territory of womanhood."
 --The Hartford Courant

"Aurelie Sheehan, whose earlier novel The Anxiety of Everyday Objects garnered praise, has again crafted a novel that smoothly incorporates the tender humor of a young teen with the dark moments of an adult world disintegrating around her . . . She excels at depicting the terrible, but fragile, intensity of young female friendships."
--Rocky Mountain News 

"The '70s witnessed a clash between bohemianism and the civil rights movement and the stalwart old guard, and no one describes it better than the young woman in Aurelie Sheehan's History Lesson for Girls."
--San Francisco Chronicle

"Aurelie Sheehan's funny, nimble, bright-eyed prose is far more honest than the fiction we call Western civ. Relentless and relatable, History Lesson for Girls is the truest novel that I've found in ages. Read it. Now. By flashlight. In the prone position. If not solely to remember the place that you and I come from -- the year before doubt, before sex, before adult injustice, all the raw deals we'll never understand and never really escape."
--Koren Zailckas, author of Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood

"Sheehan perfectly captures the breath-catching intensity of those early friendships between young girls, when adults feel peripheral but aren't, and everything hangs in the balance of large and small acts of love and betrayal. Beautifully written, Sheehan has a wonderful memory for the details of an era many of us will never forget." 
--Cammie McGovern, author of Eye Contact and The Art of Seeing