Friday, November 13, 2009

Commencement by j. courtney sullivan

Celia, Bree, April and Sally meet when they are all assigned the same dorm at Smith's College. Smith is an all women's college and they've all gotten there through different paths. Celia grew up going to Catholic school who has two well educated parents and a mother is a vp for a major markeing firm. Bree is from the south and has a very traditional family, and a mother and a grandmother who had both gone to Smith. April was raised by a single mother and is a hardcore feminist. Wanting to be involved in anything and everything that helps women. Sally's mother recently passed away and she is grappling at life without her.

The book jumps perspective from one Smithie to the next, and the reader is allowed to see how different and alike all of the women are. How Bree has a relationship with a woman, yet claims not to be a lesbian. How the other girls made out with or 'above the jeans' action with other women and do not think they are lesbians.

It's really a fast read and captures soo much of the college expereince and of growing up in your twenties in modern times. The book follows the girls after graduation and to one of the girls weddings where there is an AWFUL fight. It takes the next year with some REALLY life changing events to bring them all back together again.

I really enjoyed the book and the ONLY thing that upset me, was the ending. It was a fitting ending, but it defintely could have had ONE more chapter to tell you 'what happens now.' I hate when books do that. But that just means they are that good, when you want to keep reading. It certainly captures the intensity of college friendships that only those who are thrust into such close quarters with strangers can understand. It also captures the COMPLEX relationships, first loves, heart break, dissapointment, pain and grief that seem to be all encompassing as you find your niche in the world.

Feminism is talked about quite often. I would be surprised if you went through the book and saw it mentioned every 5 pages. The book talks about different types of feminism and how each girl encompasses their own brand of feminism and how each deal with the multitude of choices they have.

Definitely reccomend to women, especially in their 20's and 30's.

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