That said, the “Most Important” book I read this year was Twenty-Two: Letters to a Young Woman Searching for Meaning by Allison Trowbridge.
Okay, full disclosure…. the author is my daughter. But wait!! Before you roll your eyes and stop reading, let me explain why I believe this book is so important.
First, you need to understand that even though the target market for Twenty-Two is young women *ages 18-30, that doesn’t mean those are the only people who should read it. It’s just that it’s crucial that they do.
If you don’t fall into this target group, you almost certainly know someone who does. Maybe it’s a daughter, sister, wife, cousin, neighbor, co-worker, or friend. Every young woman in this age group could benefit from reading this book. And if you (male or female) mentor a young woman in any capacity, it’s important that you read it, too.
Twenty-Two is composed of a series of letters written by Allison (as her real self) to a fictional college student named Ashley, a compilation of the young women Allison has known and mentored over the years. So the issues Ashley faces are both authentic and relevant to young women today.
Some of the topics covered in Twenty-Two are a bit on the “ lighter” side, including friendship, dating, community, vocation, identity, purpose, self-esteem, and seeking perfection yet finding failure. But don’t let this book’s pretty cover fool you…. Allison also goes deep, addressing the heavier challenges of dealing with devastating loss, responding to deplorable injustice, sexual harassment, abuse, and rape, and fighting human trafficking.
Allison has the experience to write on these issues, from her world-wide travels, expansive network, and nearly a decade of working to end modern day slavery. She has seen and learned a lot, well beyond her years. Plus, she’s an excellent writer and story-teller. The stories she tells are true, including some of my own personal stories, which after careful consideration, I gave her permission to share.
Twenty-Two is eye-opening and passion-inducing. Readers can expect to laugh, cry, and be inspired to pursue social impact as a lifestyle. I hope you’ll share this with the women in your life, and then read it for yourself as well. As our society begins to experience greater cultural awareness in many areas, the time is ripe for a book like Twenty-Two to spur us onward. We don’t have to accept all that’s wrong with the world…. we can do better.
*Recommended for ages 18 and up. Readers younger than 18 should read with a trusted adult who will be available to discuss some of the heavier content with them.