Ashley Stockingdale, 31, has a respectable (read: boring) job in
Given that in
So Ashley resolves to go for it! If only she knew what "it" she's going for. Perhaps that ever-illusive promotion that would give her the glamorous career girl image she's longed for? Or maybe the wardrobe to end all wardrobes, turning her glowing, possibly-pregnant newlywed friends green with envy? Or, best of all, winning the affections of the handsome doctor she's met through her work with the youth center!
Ultimately, Ashley finds that what a girl wants and what a girl needs aren't always the same thing. Join Ashley for the first of two lighthearted books about a single-girl's bumbling but loveable quest for meaning.
"What a Girl Wants" really is laugh-out-loud funny. I haven't been this entertained in a long while. Racy, edgy and romantic WITHOUT a gratuitous sex scene every other chapter. The heroine Ashley is a real character, NOT a generic super-Christian woman with a sweet smile and a heart of gold who the hero instantly falls in love with (but not in lust) and wants to marry. No, Ashley is like any girl I'll meet at Valley Fair or
As a post-modern Christian, I can entirely relate to Ashley. Her sassy, sarcastic attitude and neuroses are WAY too familiar. Her faith is entirely central to her life, as indicated by her thoughts and decisions, but the way she talks about it is in language that is different from our parents' generation of Christians. The language can come across as flippant and slightly irreverent, but it's the way she makes God more real, more personal and more intimate in her life. For Ashley, God is her friend (albeit a pretty powerful and absolutely holy Friend) rather than Thou-Almighty-God-Maker-of-Heaven-and-Earth.
The book is great at showing Ashley's spiritual journey from a more distant relationship with God to a fully submissive and joyful interaction with her Creator. It doesn't preach. It shows the actions of a woman of God who makes mistakes and needs constant guidance and direction from her Lord, which is how He wants us to be anyway. It is culturally hip and trendy, so that a world inundated by reality TV, web-access pocket PCs, and other forms of ultra-stimulation can relate and laugh and maybe even question the material things they value.
The book perfectly captures the essence of northern
As a hopeless romantic, I'm sometimes left flat by many women's fiction novels, but this book has enough sparks to light the
This is terrific entertainment, and a message suitable for those of us post-moderns who struggle with what the world says and what God wants. In Ashley, I see the other Christians of my generation who don't want to be influenced by the morals of the world we live in, but at the same time don't want to be total hermit-recluse-bananas in our own exclusive Christian circle. Ashley's discovery of how to be herself, be content, and be God's child is a worthwhile spiritual take-away.