"How to build a girl" - Caitlin Moran
"How to build a girl" is a novel written by author and journalist Caitlin Moran.
The main theme of the novel is the transition from adolescence to adulthood, in this sense the novel can be considered a novel of modern education.
Getting into the adult world is not easy. But this issue has been treated for centuries: in this novel, Caitlin Moran creates a story without any censorship in which he speaks openly about sex as well.
Moran writes a novel about adults, no hair on the tongue on any subject, from politics to society in the 1990s, but in particular speaks of sex and music, blending together the two worlds.
The protagonist is Johanna Morrigan, a 14-year-old girl who lives in a poor and borderline family: a rotten father, eternal aspirant rock star; a patient and remissive, with post-partum depressive depression; a big brother, ready to criticize and displease, and a big, big-sized Lupine, "like two blue planets turning in the galaxy of his skull," terribly sweet, tender and looking for affection. To worsen the situation, there are adolescent hormones and its being transparent in the eyes of others, while being irreparably and proactively fat.
Johanna is intelligent and has to deal with the world and with the wrong or inadequate teachings her parents have inculcated to face life. When the novel begins, it's 1990. Johanna lives with a disappointment after another, until she decides to set aside resignation and roll up her sleeves. She decides to change everything, to be a pseudonym, and to become Dolly Wilde, a reckless and audacious journalist. Leave the suburb of Wolverhampton and embark on a new life, made of adventure, sex, erotic readings and music. Dolly Wilde becomes, in a short time, famous, a true Gothic heroine, with the tongue loosened, without any inhibition, the conquest of pleasure, men and London.
Dolly can save the family ever more in economic turmoil, even a bit because of her. A bit like Jo in "Little Women," or as Bronte’s sisters (without thinking of dying young), Johanna-Dolly is a pen and starts writing, because writing is something that even the poor can do.
But what happens when Johanna realizes that Dolly, the character she herself has built piece by piece, has a huge defect? What does she miss to become a girl? This is the novel that every teenager could write about herself and the dissatisfaction she is experiencing, but only Caitlin Moran has succeeded in doing so with her irreverent and explosively immoral style.
It's a fascinating, fun, adventurous, exciting, life-like reading, but sometimes a little painful, to the full awareness of the difficulties to get into the adult world.