Monday, August 15, 2011

Review: Dreams of Significant Girls by Cristina Garcia

Title:Dreams of Significant Girls
Author:Cristina Garcia
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Imprint:Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing 
Pub. Date:07/12/2011
ISBN:1416979204 (ISBN13: 9781416979203)

Brought together each summer at a boarding school in Switzerland, three girls learn a lot more than just French and European culture. Shirin, an Iranian princess; Ingrid, a German-Canadian eccentric; and Vivien, a Cuban-Jewish New Yorker culinary phenom, are thrown into each other's lives when they become roommates. 

This is a story of 3 paths slowly beginning to cross and merge as they spend the year apart, but the summers together. Through navigating the social-cultural shoals of the school, developing their adolescence, and learning the confusing and conflicting legacies of their families' past, Shirin, Ingrid, and Vivien form an unbreakable bond. 

This story takes readers on a journey into the lives of very different girls and the bonds that keep them friends.

(Summary and cover via Goodreads)


Following three summers at a boarding school in Switzerland, this book tells the story of three very different girls who become friends. Ingrid is the "wild" and "crazy" one, Vivien is the sweet one, and Shirin is the more uptight and formal one. The girls are thrown together as roommates, and the slowly bond through shared experiences. These bonds help shape their lives and their futures.

With a title like this one, I was expecting something profound or more interesting that what I got. Apparently significant girls dream about sneaking out of boarding school and sex. As the book goes on, the girls each get a little more personality, and that helps the story out a lot. I wanted to see these girls learn how to make their contributions to the world, but I really felt like I got less of their interests and more of what they wanted to do to/with which boys. There were some very interesting topics covered though. Divorce, careers, children- all these were touched on, but not for long. I guess for me I wanted more of that and less of boys. Maybe I'm showing my age. 

I felt this was a pretty good book. The girls (especially Ingrid) felt a little too "modern" to me, but the early 70's are just a bit early for me to have a good idea if that's true or not. It wasn't a bad book, and it certainly got better as it went along. I just really wanted to be inspired by these dreams these girls had, but it fell flat for me.

Galley provided by publisher for review.

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