This book arose from a letter to a friend. The friend had asked Adichie how to raise a feminist daughter and this book is Adichie’s answer. As books go it is fairly short, but I suppose that for a letter it is quite long.
If you have read Adichie before (and if you haven’t you really should) her voice is strong and flowing in this letter and I enjoyed reading it. I wanted to buy ten copies and just throw them at anybody who’s expecting.
Even if you don’t have children I find that there is value in this. All of us interact with kids and it is worth examining our own behaviors, prejudices and the narratives that we are constantly building for children.
While there may be some cultural discrepancies, most of her points hold true across different types of society. I’ve done quite a bit of studies on the subject of how we raise girls and boys differently and even though Adichie speaks from a personal and anecdotal point of view, her observations are astute and accurate.
In the foreword Adichie mentions that she’s about to become a mother and it would be interesting for her to review how her ideas have changed since she took on this new role. Maybe she’ll write a book on that, but till then, settling for this book ain’t half bad.