Book Review: Cleavage: Breakaway Fiction for Real Girls Edited by Deb Loughead and Jocelyn Shipley


Cleavage: Breakaway Fiction for Real Girls. Just the name is edgy and designed to get our attention, and the stories inside live up to the title. In the foreword, editors Deb Loughead and Jocelyn Shipley say that the word cleavage has many meanings. There’s the image of the valley between breasts of course, but cleavage also refers to the division of a fertilized ovum from a single cell into a mass of smaller cells. It’s what they call the mom factor that shows up in the book. Cleavage also has contradictory meanings. On one hand it means to break away from, on the other it means to hold tightly to.

You’ll find stories relating to all the meanings in this delightful book of short stories that’s easy to digest and gives a lot to think and talk about. If you can think of an issue for women, it’s probably covered, including attitudes about weight, breast implants, tattoos, body image, make-up, clothes and more. These pieces will open the door for moms and daughters to talk about hard-to-bring up subjects that benefit from open discussion.

A short bio of each author, including a note about what inspired her to write her story, is a nice touch that adds extra meaning to each piece. Mother-daughter book clubs with high-school-aged girls will find a lot to like when reading Cleavage.

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