This week, I perused the final pages of Sally Clarkson’s delightful book, Girls’ Club.
I’m certain it’s a book that won’t remain on my shelves long; the many highlighted texts and quotable truths beckon me to come back and spend a little more time within its pages.
I’m sharing a review of Girls’ Club with you this week in lieu of the “book club” that I never got around to wrapping up this summer. (I believe we made it through chapter six. You can catch those “book club” posts here, if you want.)
The past dozen years of blogging have taught me many things about myself; the most recently learned fact is that I am a notably poor book club hostess.
My apologies for starting yet another “thing” that I can’t muster up the desire to finish. (It’s a “visionary problem,” I think.)
I do believe it’s for everyone’s best interest if I stick with my habit of daily reading, and share what I’ve discovered and loved in the form of a well-written book review here on the blog.
So here goes… my book review of Girls’ Club, by Sally, Sarah, and Joy Clarkson.
About the Authors
In case you’re not familiar with the Clarkson family or Life With Sally, let me quickly introduce you to the trio behind Girls’ Club:
Sally Clarkson is an international speaker and author, as well as a wife, former homeschooling mom, and now a grandma as well. Most notably, Sally writes at SallyClarkson.com and shares weekly podcasts; I highly recommend both. I count discovering Sally Clarkson’s blog when my oldest kids were babies as the single most important influence on my life as a mother.
Sarah Clarkson is Sally’s oldest daughter. Sarah is currently living in Oxford, England, where she is finishing up her degree, mothering little Lily, and writing her own books. Sarah is married to Thomas, a newly appointed curate (pastor).
Joy Clarkson is the energetic youngest of the four Clarkson kids. Joy is pursuing her phD at St. Andrews in Scotland and is an engaging writer and speaker in her own right. I especially enjoyed Joy’s chapters in Girls’ Club.
Why Girls’ Club?
In summary, Girls’ Club revels in the real and often messy world of friendship: loneliness, longing for community, and how to cultivate personal growth in order to build lasting connections.
So why another book on the topic of “how to make friends?”
I feel like Girls’ Club stands out for a few reasons:
It is raw. There is no sugar-coating of reality or pretending in this book. The authors are honest and even vulnerable. I felt like I could relate in a powerful way with so much of what was shared in Girls’ Club. (Chapter two [by Sarah] and chapter four [written by Sally] are especially poignant.)
It is real. As a visionary/idealist woman, I have often found myself frustrated with the impossible standards of perfection portrayed in many books. It is one thing to write about lofty ideas; quite another to show readers how to engage in real life with truth and grace. Girls’ Club isn’t another pretend-that-life-is-perfect book. The truths unpacked within its pages can- and should– transfer directly into the hearts and lifestyles of its readers. I felt like Girls’ Club empowered me with practical applications of truth.
My Favorite Quotes
I’ve always been a bit of a quote collector.
In fact, if I feel like a book isn’t highly quotable then it probably isn’t worth reading.
Every chapter of Girls’ Club teems with notable nuggets.
Here are a few of my favorites:
If you are longing for… a faithful friend, ask God to show you how to be a faithful friend.”-Sally Clarkson, Girls’ Club, chapter seven
I had been searching for community, but all along that was something I was actually called to create.”-Sarah Clarkson, Girls’ Club, chapter eight
Competition is based in a mind-set of scarcity- the idea that there is not enough approval to go around… In competition there are winners and losers; there are no companions.”-Joy Clarkson, Girls’ Club, chapter nine
If I want to change the world and live in a way that speaks of God’s grace and mercy, the first step is to do so through friendship, through communion, through love. All the tricks and media and programs in the world cannot make up for that kind of impact.”-Sally Clarkson, Girls’ Club, chapter twelve
Where to Find Girls’ Club
If I’ve piqued your interest and you don’t already own a copy of Girls’ Club, here’s the good news: you can find a copy in most any book store.
Sally and Joy have also compiled a beautiful journal to accompany their book, Girls’ Club Experience.
The most important part of discovering Girls’ Club is that you take what you learn and cultivate your own “girls’ club” right where you are.
One of my deepest takeaways from this book is that community and belonging aren’t things we “discover,” but things we must cultivate and create.
If you enjoyed this book review, would you mind hitting a “share” button? I’d love for your friends to discover Girls’ Club too.
Here’s to living & loving well-