Superior Women: A Novel

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As a young woman, I remember reading all of Alice Adams’ novels because I loved her stories and writing. While her blurb calls her “a modern-day Jane Austen,” I am more reserved in my praise upon re-reading this novel. It seems dated and redundant of Mary McCarthy’s 1954 novel, The Group. This book, too, is a novel about college friends through four decades of love and life. I was puzzled by the character of Lavinia who seems to experience an uncharacteristic total change of character. In fact, Lavinia seems to become more like the central narrator of the story, Megan. While this often happens in real life. there seems no explanation for this shift in the story. In fact, the title itself seems sardonic; none of these women are superior except in their privileged college life. Perhaps this is a novel for a younger woman. As a writer, Adams is highly praised. She does possess a clear voice. Perhaps my age and experience make her characters seem unoriginal. Still, this is a book for and about women. It remains worth reading for that.

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Star Count 3.5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 419 pages
Publisher Scribner
Publish Date 2019-12-03
ISBN 9781982134693 Buy this Book
Issue December 2019
Category Popular Fiction


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