Book Review: The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank

I’m off to a great start on that 2020 goal of reading 12 books and have already finished my first of the year, The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank. I’ve had this book for a seriously long time (I got it at Borders… are they done for?), and dug it out of my closet at my dad’s house while I was visiting for the holidays and couldn’t sleep.

To quickly summarize, this book is about life, specifically love and loss. It’s told through seven lengthy chapters that each detail a notable time in the life of Jane.

We first meet Jane as a teenager, navigating a forced friendship with her brother’s first serious (and also much older) girlfriend.

Then, we follow up with Jane, presumably in her early twenties, on vacation with her first real boyfriend and his ex girlfriend and her husband. As I’m sure you can imagine with a real life pit forming in your stomach, it’s awkward.

We go on to live through several other chapters of Jane’s life: her relationship with a man 28 years her senior, the death of her father, a drastic change in career path, turning down a marriage proposal, a mutually unloving but content relationship with a man who saw her through her battle with breast cancer, and finally, a nearly self-sabotaged venture into love with the one.

The cover of the book denotes fiction, but my brief research suggests that some of this story pays homage to the author’s real life, at the very least, emotionally. The writing is witty, clever, and sometimes downright laugh out loud. More often than laughing though, I felt that familiar tightness in my chest that warns of imminent tears and panic. Even with a decidedly happy ending, the overall tone of the book is deeply sad and all but writes down, “Life sucks and then you die.”

Strangely though, after posting a photo of the book on my Instagram story, several of my friends messaged me about how much they love this book, and found the overall message to be light and happy. Tomato, tomahto, I guess!

Final thoughts: I flew through this book! I loved its choppy passages and the way it pulled at my heartstrings. Perhaps if I hadn’t read it in the dead of winter, it wouldn’t have bummed me out! I’m rating it 4 out of 5 stars (knocking one off for the touching but out of place middle chapter, which tells a, you guessed it, sad story about a family who simply lives a floor below Jane’s late aunt’s apartment and has no follow up????)!


What are you currently reading?

xoxo reading with Leigh Ann



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