A few years ago, Kristen Pattinson decided to leave her full-time teaching job to become a writer and, subsequently, a lifestyle blogger. Since then, she has penned the bestselling book The Good Girl, an exploration of the Millennial generation and how they navigate romance and dating in today’s world. We caught up with Pattinson to discuss the evolution of the book, her favorite lines, and how to be a good girlfriend.
Evolution Of The Book
The Good Girl is the story of Riley, a 24-year-old documentary filmmaker who is struggling to find her place in the world. After completing her MA in Film, Riley became disenchanted with the industry, feeling that she was compromising too much by pandering to men and focusing too much on her career. As a result, she drops out of college and moves to New York City to live with her best friend, Daisy, and Daisy’s parents, Harold and Estelle. There, she becomes entangled in an unexpected romance with a married man, Gabe, who is completely captivated by her rebellious energy and feistiness.
While living in New York, Riley sets up home-based businesses, freelances for several publications, and spends her extra time exploring the city’s art scene. She befriends Luce, a fellow documentary filmmaker who encourages Riley to pursue her dreams and helps her to see the silver lining in a difficult situation. In the meantime, Gabe begins to realize the demands of a long-term monogamous relationship and, after a tumultuous affair, finally decides to leave Estelle. Hurt and betrayed, Estelle falls ill and eventually passes away. The rest of the narrative centers on Riley’s journey to understand what it means to be a good girlfriend, wife, daughter, and friend, as well as how to find love again.
What was the genesis of The Good Girl?
As a former high school teacher and current lifestyle blogger, I often found myself frustrated by my students’ poor time management and inability to prioritize. I knew that something like this could be helpful for other women, so I decided to create a dating guide for millennials that would offer practical tips on how to be a better girlfriend. This is a generation that is often misunderstood and underestimated, and I wanted to shed some light on the qualities that make them so special and unique. In creating The Good Girl, I drew upon my own experiences as a 24-year-old woman seeking love and companionship while navigating a complicated world. The book is a collection of advice on relationships, dating, and sex, aimed at helping women discover the good girl within themselves.
One of the things I loved most about writing this book is discovering the characters’ depth and complexity. Every woman is a unique blend of strength and fragility, and none of us are easily defined by one characteristic. For me, this was a journey of self-discovery and growing up—a theme that resonates throughout the book. It’s never easy being a girl; I wanted to impart that sense of struggle to the audience, while also providing guidance on how to become a better version of yourself.
One of the things that drew me to Daisy was her strength. As the book opens, we learn that she has been battling bipolar disorder since she was a teenager. While her condition is something she has to manage, it doesn’t define her. She has a bright, engaging personality and is determined to pursue independent, creative living, even in the face of adversity. It is this quality that allows Riley to see beyond Daisy’s mental illness and help her to understand both her fragility and her strength.
The other character I love is Harold. Born and raised in the U.K., he has a dashingly good nature and a way with words that makes even the most difficult topics seem light-hearted. It’s rare to see a man of his generation being vulnerable, or even slightly emotional, but he delivers one of the most tender father-daughter scenes in the entire book. It’s poignant, and it makes me believe that even when life seems unfair, there is always room for a loving father and daughter to share a heart-to-heart.
Finally, I’d like to mention Riley’s best friend, Luce. She is the kind of woman who challenges Riley to be the best version of herself—to question preconceived notions, try new things, and believe in herself. When it comes to matters of the heart, she is the woman who teaches Riley how to be the good girl she was born to be: kind, compassionate, and most importantly, understanding. Luce embodies all that is good and pure, and it is her wise counsel that allows Riley to become the best possible version of herself.
The Good Girl is a thought-provoking, intimate exploration of romance and dating for the millennial generation. A must-read for anyone seeking advice on how to be a better girlfriend, wife, daughter, and friend, the book offers a unique viewpoint and a fresh approach that will resonate with anyone who has ever been there.
Since its publication, The Good Girl has been covered by numerous publications, including the New York Times, Cosmo, and Redbook, and has consistently appeared on bestseller lists, including the Wall Street Journal and USA Today”s Top 100.