I really enjoyed this book. It is about the life of a girl who grows up in a working poor family and goes off to Barnard (Ivy League) in NYC during the 1960's. It is a great book about the revolutionists at that time in US history and feelings about racial equality and the Vietnam War. Definitely one of the better books I have read recently!
When Georgette George and Ann Drayton meet in 1968 as freshmen roommates at Barnard College, Georgette marvels that her privileged, brilliant roommate envies Georgette's rough, impoverished childhood. Through the vehicle of this fascinating friendship, Nunez's sophisticated new novel (after For Rouenna) explores the dark side of the countercultural idealism that swept the country in the 1960s. Hyperbolic even for the times, Ann's passionate commitment to her beliefsâunwavering despite the resentment from those she tries to helpâhaunts Georgette, the novel's narrator, long after the women's lives diverge. In 1976, Ann lands in prison for shooting and killing a policeman in a misguided attempt to rescue her activist black boyfriend from a confrontation. The novel's generous structure also gracefully encompasses the story of Georgette's more conventional adult life in New York (she becomes a magazine editor, marries, and bears two children), plus that of Georgette's runaway junkie sister. Nunez reveals Ann's life in prison via a moving essay by one of her fellow inmates. By the end of this novelâpropelled by rich, almost scholarly proseâall the parts come together to capture the violent idealism of the times while illuminating a moving truth about human nature.
The book was well written but it was not a favorite of mine. Seemed slow moving due to the great detail author went in to.
** spoiler alert ** At first, I thought I would hate it. Then, about 3 pages in I was hooked. Though I did not personally connect with the main character, nor her roommate, of whom she discusses throughout the story, I REALLY wanted to know what was happening in their lives. The bits about getting left to sober up at a parents house, about meeting her parents, about her sister running away...loved all of it. Then, it kinda died, at about page 300. Once the trial was over, womp, womp. Borrrrring. I couldn't care less about what happened to the main character after that, or her life (though a few bits about ex husbands were interesting). The part where she falls in love with Anne's father, completely unbelievable, and this is where it fell off the tracks for me. The last 3 chapters were completely unnecessary, in my opinion. They did nothing to actually tie up the story whatsoever.
So I'll stick with my 3 rating because I was so surprised at how quickly it sucked me in. Those first 300 pages reminded me a lot of Tartt's "A Secret History". Maybe it was all the dormitories, school references and love/hate relationship with fellow students.
This book was not what I expected, but provided for a good read.