It’s never too late to start reading a classic, so while I struggle to finish Nineteen Eighty Four, I read “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret“, a short, 25-chapter novel by Judy Blume that revolves around Margaret Ann Simon, a 12-year-old who grew up with no religion.
Having one Jewish and one Catholic parent, Margaret grows up without a religion, although she does talk to God all the time (most of her conversations with Him begin with the title’s words). In addition, it features the young Margaret transitioning into puberty and all the hullabaloo associated with it, such as purchasing her first bra and having her menarche. At the same time, Margaret’s paternal grandmother tries to convince her to choose Judaism while her maternal grandparents insist that she was born into the Catholic faith.
The novel is written in the first person, from Margaret’s point of view. Blume’s style of writing in the book is very characteristic of a young pre-teen. The protagonist’s thoughts are so similar to those of tweens all over America that the first page of the book boasts that “She (Blume) gets many letters from young people asking how she knows all their secrets”.
I would guess that tweens and teens the world over would love this book, if only because they can relate to it. Even I, a full-blooded dude, found the book interesting and almost unputdownable. From a tween’s first brassiere purchase, to her flipping through her father’s Playboy magazines, to the timeless chant of “I must, I must, I must increase my bust”, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is a book to have, a true classic in every aspect.
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret gets four out of five thumbs-ups, one thumbs-up being omitted due to the unexpectedly abrupt ending of the story.
P.S. This was the first novel I was able to finish reading in one day. 😉