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Girl Talk: Mother-Daughter Conversations on Biblical Womanhood Review by Marla G. Nowak

By: Carolyn Mahaney and Nicole Mahaney Whitacre
Crossway Books
1300 Crescent Street
Wheaton, Illinois 60187

Mother and daughter team Carolyn Mahaney and Nicole Whitacre take on the teen years, years that can strain the best of mother-daughter relationships. Fear not, this need not be. Partnering together, these ladies expose their relationship during the exciting teen years, provide insight to maintain a good relationship, while calling mother and daughter to honor the Lord and tune out the worlds' solicitations.

While raising daughters is not an uncommon theme, this book has a unique spin. Honest dialogue with true examples comprise this direct and realistic book. While many good mother-daughter books have their beauty and charm, Girl Talk may be a bit more relevant for some girls. Our daughters may tire of titles that call them in ten steps to be virtuous. My fourteen-year old skimmed through this book. When I asked what she thought in comparisons with some other books, her response was, "Remember, the verse says who can find a virtuous woman," inferring that perhaps we might think the flawless Proverbs 31 woman is out there somewhere. Sometimes we are more interested in perfecting our daughters, than perfecting our love and commitment to them.

Relationships are highly stressed with chapters like: A Mother's Love, Best Friends, Afternoon Out, Conflict Jungle and Constant Communication. Discussion questions are provided as well. Carolyn, experienced mother to three adult daughters, is mindful of the example she sets, yet she is fun. She reminded me in this book to "forge the mother daughter bond." Admittedly, I felt at first that Carolyn was the exception. What mother can take their daughter out for weekly afternoons with mom? Not many that I know. However, many of us can do more. She talks of anxiety and reminds us to trust in the "unfailing faithfulness of God." She talks about the hard decisions in her chapter on discipline. We are reminded to depend on the Holy Spirit.

Nicole writes with wisdom, and understanding. She talks about guys, clothes, homemaking in a careful yet unpretentious way. In her modesty chapter, "Taking God to the Gap," Nicole discusses wardrobe and its connection with lust. In the appendix there is a Modesty Heart Check with specifics that will raise awareness in its effort to help guide our daughters. Whether discussing the need for resolving conflict or making your mom your best friend, Nicole relates her teen feelings in a comfortable easy style.

Pastor, husband, and father, C.J. Mahaney gets in his say too. The final entry, "A Word to Fathers," commends men to be godly husbands, nurturing fathers and mindful to create an environment that contributes to solid mother-daughter relationships.

Are there new truths in this book? Probably not. Words have been written and rewritten. Yet this is the ministry of encouragement. Girl Talk is a reminder to apply these truths.

-- Product Review by: Marla G. Nowak, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine