A Real Emotional Girl is a memoir by Tanya Chernov, daughter of the late Richard Chernov, the beloved director of Birch Trail Camp for Girls in Wisconsin.
The book tells the story of Tanya growing up in a summer camp and how her idyllic life is interrupted by her father’s sudden illness:
Tanya, her mother, and two brothers find themselves cramped in a tiny cabin in a tiny town in northern Wisconsin in the dead of winter. There they wait for her father to die of cancer. Separated from friends and civilization, Tanya has only her fears and uncertainty for company.
At the age of twenty, Tanya loses a man who was not only her father but a surrogate father to thousands. Richard Chernov was a man who shared himself, humor and all, with just about everyone who would let him. And with this same unflagging commitment and passion, Tanya shares her struggles and the blessings she finds in them. Her memoir is a complex amalgam of human strength and fragility, which creates an inimitable coming-of-age story.
This is a story of family and pain, of survival and growing up, and ultimately of love. For anyone who has ever experienced loss, A Real Emotional Girl offers a glimpse, provocative in its raw honesty, into the nature of grief and the positive transformation that can follow.