Girls Only: Sleepovers, Squabbles, Tuna Fish, and Other Facts of Family Life


“What I learned from my father was the boys’ lesson of dealing in the world–trust no one and win the first time. What I learned from my mother was the girls’ lesson–trust no one and win the first time, but just in case you don’t, come home, eat something, talk about it, have a drink, cry a little, then go back out there and try again.”


Armed with these family tenets, Alex Witchel goes soul-searching and shopping with the ever-present help of her mother, Barbara, the “human Swiss Army knife who can do it all,” and her sister, Phoebe, Alex’s perpetual rival and best friend. These three form a family within a family, and with a passionate unity they offer each other sharp, witty, and (occasionally exasperating) insights on everything from men, pedicures, and careers to sibling rivalry, the challenges of stepparenting, and the pains of aging and loss.


Insightful, poignant, and hilarious by turns, Girls Only is a memoir that celebrates the one thing that remains “for women only”…mother/daughter/sister love.