Jell-O Girls: A Family History by Allie Rowbottom (Review by Jessica Natsuko)

1 min read

If you’re searching for a wholesome, warm-hearted read, then unfortunately, this engrossing tell-all is not the book for you. Rowbottom’s “Jell-O Girls: A Family History” is a brave, brash, and gripping memoir spanning across three generations of matriarchs that lie silently behind one of America’s most recognizable brands. Unapologetically feminist, and occasionally bitter, Rowbottom’s story is rife with imagery, and manages to seamlessly weave pieces of history, popular culture, sociology, and consumerism with her own personal narrative. The story is at once deeply personal, yet still so universally experienced that one cannot help but empathize with the quiet desperation and struggle to define what it means to be a woman, mother, daughter, and wife.

Rowbottom delicately peels back the layers of intergenerational repression and trauma, and strives valiantly to tell the stories of the women in her life before her who were unable to do so themselves. Her ability to move between all three generations of women is seamless, and achingly honest. She tackles complicated truths head-on, and isn’t afraid to call things out the way they are; there’s no spoonful of sugar to make things easier to swallow.

The once-virtuous, sugary-sweet and fun-loving pantry staple takes on an entirely new persona though the many revelations brought forward by Rowbottom, and I can almost guarantee that after finishing this book, you’ll never be able look at another box of jell-o the same way again.

Check it out on Amazon

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I am writing to share an update on behalf of all of us at The Girly Book Club as we manage COVID-19. As we all know, the events of the past days and weeks have been unprecedented and our team continues to monitor and navigate this rapidly changing situation with the rest of the world.

At the GBC, we care deeply about doing what we can to keep our people and communities well – we are grounded in this intention, which makes difficult choices a little easier to make.

As a result, we have cancelled ALL of our global in-person monthly meetings for March. As a result, we will be holding a GLOBAL GBC Book Club, which we hope will appeal to our members far and wide (more info below.)

We’ll be honoring all tickets sold for March meetings and transferring them to April’s meetings or you can request a refund if you’d prefer.

Stay well. 
Erin Woodward

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