From Girl to Goddess: The Heroine’s Journey in Myth and Legend
While the male in literature and mythology has his journey, so the female has hers. Valerie Estelle Frankel’s book of folklore and myth explores this journey and guides the reader through the complex twists and turns of the female experience. It’s a surprisingly comprehensive and readable excursion into the feminine aspect of myth and legend. The male has one journey and while the female journey may sometimes mirror the male, it is, in the end, her own battle and voyage.
Frankel is an amazingly systematic storyteller. Where some authors turn vague or verbose, or both, on certain explanations in regard to myth, Frankel never talks down to her audience, or fails to keep them tracking along with her on a path sometimes fraught with confusing, contradictory, or complex information. From Girl to Goddess is written in a wheel pattern that mirrors the feminine journey, taking the heroines and the reader from girl to woman to goddess and beyond. Frankel has a seamless way of weaving the story so the reader feels as though they travel along with her through these deep valleys and dark woods, even if they are only hypothetical places. She also doesn’t neglect less well-known myths. She includes not only the classics from Greece, Rome, Scandinavia, and Britain, but rare ones from the Zuni, Navaho, Blackfoot, Aztec, and Samoan people, as well as stories from China, Vietnam, Vancouver Island, the Sudan, and other places.
Once you read this, you’ll never see the female journey the same way again. This book is a fascinating and engaging explanation into the feminine journey and a real treasure of storytelling. It’s at once academic in scope and yet accessible to the layman reader. It contains masterful storytelling and retelling of the myths that are used to support the thesis of the feminine journey. Overall, the book is empowering to all females, and lets them see themselves as the everyday heroines they are.
Valerie Estelle Frankel