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Monday, May 22, 2023

The Radcliffe Ladies Reading Club by Julia Bryan Thomas

Four young ladies have entered Radcliffe. This is in itself momentous. 1954 was still an era where girls of eighteen worked at anything temporarily whether studies or a job - as a means to an end. Finding a suitable husband and being respectable. The four young women came from widely dissimilar backgrounds but they did settle in to do their time in college. The bookshop owned by Alice became the center of a small book club where Alice encouraged them to widen their horizons, question situations, look at life from different perspectives. She guided them but was not intrusive. Because social life was a part of college life the girls began to venture out to take part in a pleasurable part of college life. Things dont always go smoothly and the incident with Caroline set off far reaching consequences for all. The storyline was good but for me the characters other than Alice were weak. All were very preoccupied by society's expectations and standards, preferring to overlook abuse, chauvinism, inequality all completely overshadowed by the standards of society of the day. It took a lot of courage to take a stance against injustice the way Caroline did. Her character developed as an independent woman from that point on. A warm story of four girls in a changing world. Sent by Sourcebooks Landmark for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

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