I loved this book so much
as a kid. It was interesting rereading it now.
One thing that startled me was something I barely noticed when I was younger: Margaret gets very angry at God at one point, and decides she's not talking to him any more. She thinks he's been mean to her, and she's hitting back as best she can.
Which is fine. Very believable. But then she starts telling everyone that she doesn't believe in God. And whenever she says that, she thinks to herself that she hopes he's listening.
Here's the problem: I'm someone who, without rancor,
doesn't happen to believe in God. And I've had several people tell me something along the lines of, "Deep down, you know he really exists," and imply that it's not that I don't believe; it's that I'm angry.
Part of that is understandable, since I do run around ranting all the time. But not about the big G and how he done me wrong. I tend to scream about human
Stories like this don't do much to help people like me, who don't insist that everyone share our worldview but would like to be believed when we say we have
such a worldview. And this does come up quite a bit.
Think about it: In newspaper articles, people are described as belonging to certain religions. So-And-So is
a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, or Jew. But atheists are almost always "self-described," or people who "claim to be" atheists.
Back to the book: Other than the fact that Margaret's family is far more upper-middle-class and functional than mine ever was, I found a lot to relate to here, and a great deal to enjoy. The writing is funny and Blume has a great ear for dialogue. In spite of all the changes in technology that have occurred since she wrote it, this story stands the test of time quite well.