I won’t deny that The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank was entertaining, in the way a mindless romantic comedy is a pleasant distraction. That’s not a bad thing at all. I don’t think it’s timeless literature, but I don’t regret having read it.
Having said that, I don’t think I’m going to remember much about it, and certainly won’t remember individual stories, except possibly the only story in the book that isn’t told from the point of view of Jane Rosenal. That story, “The Best Possible Light,” is probably the best story in the book, and is the odd girl out. Jane doesn’t appear, although she is mentioned because she’s living upstairs in her late Aunt Rita’s apartment. As much as I like that story, it might be considered thematically related to the others, but it sticks out.
Except for that story, the linkage here is that all the stories are told from Jane’s point of view, first as a teenager struggling to understand her worldview and then as a young woman who is struggling to understand her manview. All of her relationships fail until she gets hold of the Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing, and suddenly this relationship guidebook seems to have given her power over the opposite sex. Except it backfires, of course, as any good romantic comedy must.
So, I didn’t love this book either. My batting average isn’t very good so far.
Stay tuned. Next up, Dubliners by James Joyce.