Book Review: Girlwood by Claire Dean

With one foot in the modern world and one foot in a world of fantasy, Girlwood takes us into the life of Polly Greene, who can see the colors that surround people, revealing their true selves. Polly’s older sister, Bree, disappears into the woods one night, and Polly is the only one who believes she has not run far, that she’s hiding nearby to heal her out-of-control life.

When Polly finds a magical clearing hidden among the trees, she’s certain that her sister is close. She determines to leave her food and clothing and healing plants in a magical spot she and her friends dub Girlwood to help Bree survive until she’s ready to return.

Girlwood explores many themes as Polly enlists the help of friends and family in her mission:

  • What’s the value of nature compared to development?
  • Why do girls sometimes subvert their own personalities when they start to date?
  • How does divorce affect family dynamics?
  • How can parents teach and protect their children while also allowing them to have independent thoughts?

The themes are woven into a story that is as enchanting as the magical clearing, Girlwood, itself. And by the end, you may even find yourself searching for your own Girlwood.

Recommended for mother-daughter book clubs with girls in aged 12 and up.

3 Responses to Book Review: Girlwood by Claire Dean

  1. Lauren says:

    I second this review! A lovely book for mothers, daughters, sisters, and grandmothers. Beautiful!

  2. Jason says:


    I’m Jason, and I’m one of the founders of an online book club service called It’s free and we created it as a space to create book clubs, and to read and discuss books online.

    It’s pretty new and we are letting people who know who may be interested in book clubs. I noticed that you had been talking about book clubs, so decided to leave a comment.

    You’re welcome to give it a try, and comments and suggestions both good or bad are much appreciated!


    Community Manager

  3. […] Claire Dean is the author of Girlwood, a book that’s part reality, part fantasy and very interesting to read. (Read my review.) […]

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