What I Would Tell Her is a collection of essays written by fathers who love their daughters. The topics of the essays are all over the place, but they all have one thing in common: these dads love and cherish their daughters and want to nurture them, protect them, but most of all help them grow up to be intelligent, happy, self-aware women.
What an awesome concept for a collection of essays! And without exception, I enjoyed each and every one of the contributions in this collection. I loved how much the fathers cared about their daughters and their families, I loved how devoted they were to raising their girls, but most of all I loved how all of these fathers truly respected their daughters. I was nervous that the book was going to be sort of Purity Ball -ish, with the fathers concentrating on the protect and shield aspect of fatherhood some parents focus on, but it was exactly the opposite. These dads love their girls to pieces, but they also respect their autonomy, their own decision-making capabilities, and the fact that one day their daughters will become women.
As a daughter with a tumultuous relationship with her father, these stories brought me hope. They made me realize that many girls are lucky enough to grow up with fathers who actively adore them, cherish them, and respect them. I may not have grown up with a father like these, but reading these essays helped me look at my own father and pick out what he has contributed to my life, and how he has always loved me the best way he knew how – it may not have been perfect, but he certainly tries.
This book reminded me a lot of Michael Chabon’s Manhood for Amateurs and if you enjoyed that, you definitely need to pick up What I Would Tell Her. It’s a winner for sure!