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Rosie Little's Cautionary Tales for Girls Hardcover – July 13, 2007

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Linked anecdotes about the perils of young womanhood from Australian author Wood trendily play off of antediluvian diction and antiquated women's advice columns, but actually possesses some hard-won wisdom. Divided into themes such as virginity, truth, art, commitment, marriage and loss, the tales treat the predictable muddle of female experience, though in the feisty literary persona of not such a "good girl." Indeed, the first story, "The Deflowering of Rosie Little," finds the narrator, at 14, eager to look up Latin words in the dictionary used in sexual relations, losing her virginity in the most demeaning fashion at a party to a coarse lager lout who offers her a popular cocktail for girls called "Rene Pogel" (read it backward). In another wacky tale that goes off the rails into reality, "Rosie Little in the Mother Country," the narrator, now 17, is sent for a long visit to her childless godparents' house back in England, where the joyless, emotionally numbed couple finds Rosie's sexual vivacity unnerving and finally insupportable. Despite corny sidebars on penis sizes, pubic hairstyling, and "Nominative Determinism" (you are what you're named), Wood addresses real issues: domestic violence, abortion and the desire to be married with children, among others. What emerges is a sense of destiny for Rosie, a woman who works hard-as a newspaper reporter and an assistant purser on an American cruise ship, among other things-and senses intuitively that a life of heartstrings' unraveling is surely worth a pull or two.
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Review

"Rosie, a Little Red Riding hood type with lace-up Doc Martens instead of scones, narrates this story collection for the smart, strong female who can't help getting into trouble... Wood's prose reads as powerful, funny, and real... Rosie may have 'a difficult relationship with the word eclectic,' but that's what this book is. In a good way. Grade: A-" --Entertainment Weekly

"...emotionally pitch-perfect...[The stories] are funny and moving, and original enough to cover long-trampled territory like virginity and domestic abuse and seem new...get it and you'll have the smartes book at the beach." --Santa Cruz Sentinel

"Wood's collection of linked short stories makes a delightful trek through the life of bad girl Rosie Little...A clever and wickedly amusing character...Wood's writing is succinct, elegant, witty, and wonderfully suited to the form. Highly recommended." --Library Journal STARRED review

"...emotionally pitch-perfect...[The stories] are funny and moving, and original enough to cover long-trampled territory like virginity and domestic abuse and seem new...get it and you'll have the smartes book at the beach." --Santa Cruz Sentinel

"Wood's collection of linked short stories makes a delightful trek through the life of bad girl Rosie Little...A clever and wickedly amusing character...Wood's writing is succinct, elegant, witty, and wonderfully suited to the form. Highly recommended." --Library Journal STARRED review
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 255 pages
  • Publisher: MacAdam/Cage (July 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596922524
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596922525
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 1 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #642,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
According to Rosie's research, the aquiline noses that stick out snottily from the pages of numerous works of great fiction indicate a strong will, independence and the promise of prosperous mid-years. This, however, is no snotty work, and is not for perfect "girls" (and by "girls" I mean females between the ages of 16 and 120.) Nope, good little girls need read no further, because this book isn't for you.

These short and snappy, no nonsense stories cut straight to the good stuff - from the deflowering of a naïve maiden in a liaison more comical than dangerous (just ask Rene Pogel), to a bride defying logic in an attempt to make a good impression - Rosie Little's life journeys will strike you as funny, peculiar, poignant and bewitching, all at once.

Topics covered also include Truth (big girls and white elephants), Travel (tragic adventures in the English countryside), Beauty (a model romance), Art (Eve by the numbers), Love (who's afraid of the big, bad wolf?), Commitment (wax and wail), Work (spinning copy from rumor), Longing (romancing the stone), Loss (for the love of Kate) and finally, Destiny.

A great book for the times when a long reading session isn't in the cards, Rosie Little's Cautionary Tales for Girls explores hidden recesses of the female psyche without ever being preachy or boring.

Amanda Richards, August 15, 2007
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Format: Kindle Edition
“…a boutique with shop girls as thin as straps of liquorice. One had a long ponytail and wore a miniature black dress and retro high heels. The other wore flares ruffled from the knees down and her hair in a sharp quiff that put Justine in mind of a shark fin. These women would be the type, Justine thought, to factor in the calories in the sugar coating of their contraceptive pills”

Rosie Little’s Cautionary Tales for Girls is the second book by Australian author, Danielle Wood. It is a collection of loosely connected stories, in many of which Rosie Little stars; in most others, she makes an appearance. Somewhere in each story, there is an inset piece which contains an observation or a piece of advice from Rosie on a topic central to that story.

The chapters cover Virginity, Truth, Travel, Beauty, Art, Love, Commitment, Marriage, Work, Longing, Loss and Destiny, and are filled with humour, much of it black, as well as some magic, and all have a cautionary theme, hence the title. The book won the Sydney Morning Herald’s 2007 Best Young Novelist of the Year award, and small films have been made of two of the tales.

Rosie (or more correctly, Danielle) does have a way with words: “There was nothing to do. The hours we had to kill would die slow, painful deaths. Surely, I thought, the expression ‘terminal boredom’ was used for the first time in an airport closed down for the night”. This one is clever, funny, sometimes sad and even a little thought-provoking.
3.5 ★s
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Format: Hardcover
The title on this book can be pretty misleading for a lot of book shoppers, so let me just say right up front that this collection of short stories is NOT, repeat NOT, for young girls. Cute as the title and book design is, these stories actually feature themes of loss of virginity, adult women dealing with fat shaming (largely within the family), painful and awkward moments of first love (or that first experience of unrequited love with the wroooong kind of guy), dangers of creeper guys, and one story even talks about domestic abuse. So yeah... unless you're cool with having those important life talks with your daughter way early in her life, I'd say this one is better off going to late teen girls or older.

Now, that being said, I ended up really enjoying this collection! I wasn't too sure how much I was going to enjoy the book after the first couple stories, but I stuck with it and am so glad I did. While there is some darker, more depressing material in a number of the stories, nothing is too creepy or scary until you get to "The Wardrobe". That's the one story where I got to the end and thought Wait... whaaaat just happened?! It went from being something that just seemed to be about an odd relationship into something that could have been a Twilight Zone episode! {I dunno, maybe it was}. "Eden" is a great story that creative types will love because it talks about an artist who is trying to work through hardcore procrastination. She has the best intentions to start painting, but it ends up taking her three days to set up her still life. Then her items for her still life don't look quite perfect, so she wants to shop for what's missing. Then she decides she needs to sharpen all her art pencils (nearly 100). Then friends come to visit. We've all been there.
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