What Girls Learn
By Karin Cook
This poignant, honest novel calls up themes that teenagers will easily recognize from reading young-adult books—family relationships, sibling rivalry, the death of a parent. In fact, this reads as if it were written just for teens. With a fine ear for dialogue and a firm grasp on the concerns of adolescent girls, Cook tells the story of two sisters—Tilden, quiet and good; Elizabeth, the family rebel—and their relationship with their beloved mother, Frances. When Frances marries Nick, the girls must adjust; when Frances is diagnosed with breast cancer, the girls' lives change in ways they never expected.