Superior Women
Superior Women

Superior Women

by Alice Adams

Hardcover(1st ed)

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Overview

Eager to escape her carhop mother and the rank and file of her California town,Megan Greene heads for Radcliffe — in part to pursue an older man (twenty-one, Harvard medical school, Cape Cod summers) who represents her dream of the upper-middle-class, conservative East Coast. What Megan finds are four other girls — Janet, Lavinia, Peg, and Cathy — who seem to have little in common save for their freshman status. Neither they nor Megan could know that their destinies are about to inextricably intertwine.

The year is 1943, and these superior women, as often enemies as friends, willshare a place in each other's lives that no one else can — not husbands, notlovers. Across four decades, as time and events sweep away their expectations,five women discover their sexuality, reveal their secrets, struggle withindependence — sometimes surrendering, sometimes making stunning choices — in Alice Adams' richly drawn, uncompromising novel about women's intimate,interior, and often unsuspected lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780394536323
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/12/1984
Edition description: 1st ed
Pages: 374
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)

About the Author

Alice Adams, born in Virginia and educated at Radcliffe College, is the author of ten highly praised novels. Her short stories have appeared in twenty-two O. Henry Award scollections and several volumes of Best American Short Stories. She has been the recipient of an Academy and Institute Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. Ms. Adams' other novels include Almost Perfect, a New York Times Notable Book, and Medicine Men, both published by Washington Square Press. She lives in San Francisco.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

All, or almost all, of the events of Megan Greene's life, its violent dislocations, geographic and otherwise, are set in motion in the instant in which she first sees a young man named George Wharton, an unremarkable person, and later not a crucial figure in her life, but at that moment, to Megan, he is compellingly exotic. This takes place in the Stanford Bookstore, where Megan has a summer job; she lives in Palo Alto. George is tall and lean, with brown hair, sand-pale skin, a bony face, strong prominent jaw. He looks like what he is, a post-prep school boy from New England, but Megan has never seen one before. And his clean white khakis, old blue Oxford-cloth shirt, cord coat, and once-white sneakers, while fairly standard garb for Harvard Square and environs, in California look almost foreign.

Entranced, and aware among other more subtle reactions of a seering lust, Megan believes that she has "fallen in love." Since this is 1942 and she is sixteen, a not unreasonable interpretation.

Megan understands that he is "Eastern," this tall young man who has just come in and is standing there in the sunlight, tall and helpless, but she adds, as she is prone to, certain romantic corollaries of her own; she believes that he is rich (he is, very rich, but being a New Englander he would die before admitting to more than the most modest wealth). She furthermore assumes that he is "brilliant," possibly with literary inclinations, as hers are (she is wrong on both counts there; George is premed, of average intelligence). She imagines him to be endlessly sophisticated, having been everywhere — an older man, at least five years older than she, of wide experience.All sorts of experience, but especially sexual (wrong again).

Megan herself is medium-tall and plump, heavy-breasted, with shapely legs. Brown hair and dark blue eyes, a pretty, smooth-skinned face, very serious. Her mouth is sweet and eager, her whole expression is eager, needful.

Aside from the obvious hungers that are the lot of every poor but very bright young woman, Megan is also avid for a quality that she has not seen much of and could not name; what she considers Eastern comes close. She covets style, the sophistication which she has instantly imputed to George Wharton, before hearing his voice or knowing his name — the very qualities which she deplores the lack of in her own surroundings, of course: her parents run a store on University Avenue, out near the Bayshore Highway, whose humiliating slogan is WE BUY JUNQUE, WE SELL ANTIQUES. And they do not do well at it, Florence and Harry, Mom and Pop. (George Wharton will never see them, Megan vows, almost in the first instant of her seeing him.)

He has noticed her too, Megan observes; what she does not know is that his awareness of her (yes, her breasts and legs) increases the strength of his so-New England vowels, the Yankee flatness of his speech, as he comes around the table where she is standing to ask, "Uh, I don't suppose you have many books on sailing?"

Wordlessly, at first, but smiling, Megan, who knows the stock, is able to point in the right direction before she just gets out, "Over there."

"Oh, really? Uh, great! Thanks!"

He smiles, and strides over to the shelves she indicated; he turns back to Megan to smile again, holding up a book to indicate that he has found just what he wanted, a book on sailing. Thanks to her.

With what Megan appreciates as true delicacy, he takes his book to another clerk for the actual purchase, but then, book in hand, he comes back to Megan, and stands looking down at her. He is five or six years older than she is.

"At least I can read about it," he says, with a twisting, large-toothed grin; he must mean sailing?

"There's supposed to be good sailing up in the San Francisco Bay," Megan offers.

They are standing there in the dust-moted bookstore, a table of remaindered books between them, as though for safety. Megan, in her flowered cotton dress that is too tight and cut too low (her mother mentioned both at breakfast, mean skinny blond Florence). And George, in his strict blue-and-white cord coat.

He tells her, "This summer I really don't have any time. I'm cramming chemistry, for med school, and staying with some ancient cousins. In Atherton."

Aware of surges of heat throughout her body, Megan nevertheless achieves a pretty smile. She says, "Well —"

Very indifferently he asks her, "You live around here? You're in school?"

Of course by school be means Stanford, and so, vaguely, not quite lying, Megan says yes. And in that instant she has decided to apply to at least three Eastern schools, for the fall after next, when she will have finished high school. She will begin with Radcliffe — so lives are patterned.

The next day is exceptionally hot. In the tawny hills that surround the Stanford campus the dark green heavy live oaks barely move; along Palm Drive the asphalt is melting. High up in those palm trees the green-gray fronds are hard, dusty, and dry, they rattle in the slightest breeze, like snakes.

Stacking books, in the not-air-conditioned store, Megan dreams of sailing, breeze-driven across a blue Atlantic afternoon — dreams of sailing to an island off the east coast, to a white, white beach; they would leave the boat and lie there, alone on the sand, lie kissing, kissing until moonlight. She with him.

It is quite possible, though, that he will never come into the bookstore again, that she will never even find out his name. However, that afternoon, as she looks up from those dreams Megan sees him enter the store, a little stoop-shouldered, since he is so tall, too tall for that room. Her heart lurches as he smiles and comes up to her, saying, "Well, no one told me it got this hot in California. This feels like Boston."

"Usually it doesn't, this is unusual —" It is hard for her to talk.

Not quite looking at her he says, "What I really need is a beer. But I guess I'll have to wait. Worse luck. I've got a lab, right this minute."

Megan smiles, barely breathing. She understands that he wants to ask her out for a beer, but she does not know why it is so hard for him to ask. He is not quite used to girls? Maybe he did not go to a public high school, where everyone did that every day. She asks him, "Have you been out to Rossi's? That's a beer place around here."

He takes this up eagerly, words hurrying out. "No, actually I've hardly been anywhere, between chem labs and my relatives in Atherton. The summer plan is that I have to have dinner with them every night. They're quite venerable, and I'm afraid my family has 'expectations.'" His mouth twists sideways. "But maybe after dinner, could you get out? I could pick you up at your dorm? I do have a car, in fact I drove out here in it." He grins, more breathless even than she is.

"Well, why don't we just meet here?" Megan suggests, on an instant's inspiration; the women's dorms are not far away, and if he thinks she lives in one, well, why not? She can take the same bus that she always takes to work, and when he takes her home — another plausible story comes to her instant rescue: she will say that she is spending the night with a girl friend who lives (unaccountable! so odd!) out near the Bayshore.

Thus from its earliest beginnings there is an illicit element in their relationship, to which Megan is instantly acquiescent, in which she, like so many women, functions with instinctive, adaptive skill.

He tells her his name, George Wharton, and she says hers, and then he says, in that voice, "Well, great, then. I'll see you out front here about nine, okay?"

"Oh, sure. Great."

* * *

A Model A is not what Megan would have expected, not yet knowing anything about reverse snobbery, or prideful New England thrift, but that is what George leads Megan to, his car, which is parked in an alley near the bookstore. Not touching her, he opens the door for her, and Megan climbs awkwardly up into the seat.

They start off, and George begins to talk about his car. "It's a great old machine," he says. "Really the greatest. Made it over the Rockies without a complaint. I hope I'll be in as good shape, at that age."

He laughs, as Megan does too. She has no idea, really, what he has been talking about, but she has begun to realize that he is not used to being with girls, not at all.

It is understood that they are heading for Rossi's, and at the edge of the campus he asks Megan where to go. She tells him: right, then left, then straight along a narrow white dirt road, between sweeping shadowed hills, dim black shapes of trees, under a huge black diamond-starred sky.

Discouragingly, the parking lot at Rossi's is very crowded, the Packards and Buicks and Ford convertibles of Stanford fraternity boys; some of them even belong to high school kids, but are borrowed from parents — the Buicks, probably. Megan is thinking that she would just as soon not see anyone she knows, especially not some friend from high school, who might speak to her, say something to do with school, which is Palo Alto High.

George too looks a little daunted by that crowd; Megan sees that he would much rather not spend any time there. She tells him, "They have beer to take out, if you want. It does look crowded."

"Oh great, terrific. I'll just go in and get it." He has opened the door on his side. Stepping down, and out, he then turns back to her. "You won't mind waiting?"

"Oh no, that'd be swell."

Hearing her own voice, which has hitherto sounded neutral to her ears, possibly slightly Midwestern, since both Florence and Harry come from Iowa, Megan now keenly feels the difference between her voice and his, hers and George's; it is almost as though she were hearing another language.

In five minutes, which have seemed very long to Megan, George is back with two large foaming paper cups. "We can always come back for more," he tells her. His narrow mouth smiles — not his eyes, which are regarding her curiously, intensely. He asks, "Do we drink them here?"

"We could, if you want to. Or we could drive somewhere." Megan has said this as softly as she can, as though to conceal both her accent, so suddenly disliked, and her certain knowledge of their true direction. They will go, she knows, to a certain cleared space, high up and very private, in those surrounding hills. And she knows what they will be doing, in ten or so minutes from now. Their not touching, so far, has acquired a sort of violence; they are like dogs on leashes, she suddenly, crazily thinks, and she smiles to herself, in the dark.

She directs him up Page Mill Road, jolting over gravel. He is driving very fast, so that they both spill a little beer, as they sip, or try to.

At last Megan says Here, and George stops the car. Clutch, brakes — very noisy.

They are in a fragrant, rustling eucalyptus grove, near a heavy thick clump of pines. Far below them, through the trees, a vast valley of lights is just visible. Above them an airplane lumbers through the hot dark sky, flashing landing lights — they are near the airport.

Megan has put her cup down on the floorboards.

George asks, "All through?" His voice catches.

Mid-seat they collide, then, their mouths, arms, breasts, and hands and legs all wildly seeking each other out. (The genital sources of all this passion are oddly ignored, not touched, only mashed together violently, through clothes.) "Kissing" is what both Megan and George Wharton think of themselves as doing, or "necking," that being the totally unspecific term then in use. They are kissing, their mouths devouringly open to each other, his tongue in her mouth, probing and tasting as she tastes his, his sexual tastes of cigarettes and beer, hers of summer fruits and toothpaste and beer.

Although they reach many climaxes, both of them, in the course of those hours of kissing and straining together, that first night — and God knows how many climaxes in the course of the weeks that they spend in that way, every night — those spasms are in a curious way passed over, made nothing of. George is ashamed: surely he is not supposed to be doing this with a girl, it is probably worse than doing it with your hand, in the shower. And Megan is similarly ignorant; the orgasm is the one part of the sexual act that no one has told her about, in terms of women; she has been vaguely told that "receiving seeds" is pleasurable, but in some unspecified way. Men "ejaculate," women "receive." Thus she is allowed to believe that she and George are kissing, are necking — neither of which is necessarily related to "sexual intercourse."

It is only a six-week chemistry course that George is taking, and then he is going back to Boston; he will spend the rest of the summer with his parents and brothers at their place on Cape Cod, "the Cape." Sailing, swimming, "clamming." Resting up for med school. To Megan it all sounds remote and glamorous, a movie about people in white flannel suits and yachting hats. Mostly it sounds most painfully distant from her, from California. She is sure that George will not write to her; in a way she does not even expect him to. But the pit of her stomach twists at the thought, the imminence of his departure.

It does not occur to her, as it might to some other girl (surely it would occur to Lavinia, later one of Megan's most important friends), that he could invite her to visit, to meet his family. Learn to sail. To "clam."

"I'm not much on writing letters," George quite unnecessarily says, on their last night together. Again, they are parked up on Page Mill Road.

Megan has determined not to cry, a resolve of steel, and she is not going to say anything silly, any high school stuff about love.

And she manages; she even jokes, "Maybe postcards?"

George laughs, very pleased with her: had he been afraid that she would cry, or make some dumb demand? He says, "Terrific, I'll send you a postcard." And then, out of many impulses, innate good manners among them probably, he says, "Megan, you don't know what a difference knowing you has made, this summer. You are absolutely the greatest girl —" He breaks off, having gone as far as he can, and maybe farther.

They fall to kissing again. His large hands, now experienced, reach up under her bra, touch her breasts, hard nipples. He does not touch her under her pants.

Clutching each other, they writhe and twist and strain together, thighs and legs entwined, sweat and sexual secretions wetting them everywhere.

They are kissing, they are necking in a car. They are not "going all the way."

You are absolutely the greatest girl. Those words, in George's often-hoarse, flat-voweled, and still (to Megan) exotic voice, form her winter treasure, a record that she plays and replays. It is an accompaniment to her memories of "kissing."

But, greatest in what way, did he mean? Sexiest, she is fairly sure that he must have meant that; she thinks he has not kissed many other girls. But is that good, is it good to be sexy? Or is there something seriously wrong with her, called nymphomania?

Or, did he possibly also mean nice, or smart, or even pretty? There was, certainly, a note of regret in his words, but regret for what? For the end of their summer time together, or for not being able to say more?

Did he love her?

Rounding any corner in Palo Alto, Megan imagines seeing George, with his narrow sea-blue eyes, his tall strong body, just slightly stooped. His shy New England grin. There he would be, and he would say something really silly, like Surprise. And then he would say, even sillier, "I had to see you, I couldn't stand another day or night without you. I love you."

No postcards, nothing at all until December, and then there is one, mailed in care of the Stanford Bookstore, that is signed, "Your old friend, George Wharton." No salutation, just beginning: "Remember me? Med school is really keeping my nose in the books. I hope you are well. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Your old friend, George Wharton."

The picture on the other side is of a dormitory, where he must live. Longwood Avenue, in Boston.

Not much to go on. Still, there is the fact of his having sent a card at all. Not having forgotten who she is.

Megan thinks about George all the time: while studying and getting straight A's, while walking and swimming a lot and trying not to eat; while parked and necking up in their place on Page Mill Road with some boy from her high school (in that slightly odd way, she is being true to George).

"Rad-cliffe?" says Florence Greene, mother of Megan; giving the two syllables equal stress, she has made the word bizarre. Thin, bleached-blond Florence does not look old enough to be Megan's mother.

Megan moves restlessly through the dingy, antimacassared living room of the small house that George Wharton never entered — but where, in the early morning hours, he often let her off: her girl friend was recovering from "an operation," Megan was staying on with her, "helping out."

"You noticed that new drive-in, a couple of blocks from here, out on the Bayshore?" now asks Florence.

"Uh, sort of." She and George once had hamburgers there; Megan recalls how they gobbled, so famished, after so much kissing.

"They're hiring," says Florence. "I'm really thinking I could get me a job there. They've got these real cute uniforms." Megan believes that her mother talks this way on purpose to irritate and embarrass her; after all, back in Iowa Florence taught school, before the Depression took her job and she and Harry came to California and started in with Junque. When Megan was younger, for a long time she refused to believe that Florence was her mother.

"Oh Mother," Megan now says — a frequent response to Florence. She has instantly imagined her mother coming up to their car, as a carhop. Coming up to George's Model A and — oh Jesus, what could she say? "Jesus, Mother."

At which Florence flares up. "Don't swear at me! You know you're just like your father, when it comes to me. Why shouldn't I get a job like that? You're both big snobs, that's what you are. Look, you want to go to Rad-cliffe, you go there, if you can get yourself a scholarship, to add to that money your granddaddy left for your college. And I want to be a carhop. I'm tired of that dirty store. Tired of being broke all the time. I want to work. And I want to wear something cute."

One of the things that Megan spends the second half of the winter doing is trying to answer George's postcard. Not that it needed an answer, she knew that, but she wanted to remind him of herself, and she wanted to sound light and lovable, not a fat girl who is seriously in love. She scribbles message after message on various scratch pads, and then on a variety of unsent Christmas cards. It always comes out wrong, whatever she says.

At last she writes what is a probably unconscious imitation of the very card that she got from him. Including no salutation. "Guess what: Radcliffe has decided to accept me and I start in June. Will live in Bertram Hall. Hope to see you sometime. Your friend, Megan Greene."

On the reverse side there is a picture of the Stanford Bookstore.

Copyright © 1984 by Alice Adams

Reading Group Guide

The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for discussion of Alice Adams' Superior Women. We hope that these ideas will enrich your discussion and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Reading Group Discussion Points

  1. Superior Women charts the shifting roles and identities of four women from the 1940s to the early 1980s. How were their choices affected — or not affected — by societal expectations?
  2. Money, ethnic and class distinctions figure prominently in the novel. Megan recognizes that many of these distinctions are artificial, and is sometimes surprised by their power (for example, when she is not invited to Lavinia's wedding). Do you think that these divisions are as strong today?
  3. The character Adam Marr makes a characteristically blunt assessment of Megan and her friends, stating: "You superior women have a real problem for yourselves, don't you. Just any old guy won't do. You wouldn't like him, and even if you did your strength would scare him, make him mad." Do you believe that he is stating the author's view? Why or why not?
  4. Adam Marr says that the kind of man Megan needs is a hero. Does she ever find one?
  5. None of the women in the novel find happiness in marriage. Discuss why this is so, and what you believe the author's view of marriage to be.
  6. Over the course of the novel, the political background changes drastically, from World War II to the Civil Rights Movement to the neo-Conservatism of the 1980s. Peg clearly came into her own in the 1960s. Which eras most suited the other characters? Which period seems most similarto today?
  7. Superior Women contrasts an East Coast versus a West Coast mentality. Give some examples of the two mindsets as displayed in the novel. In your experience, what characterizes an East Coast or West Coast outlook?
  8. Does the shelter for homeless people at the end of the novel strike you as a valuable way for Megan, Peg, Henry and the others to spend their time? Why or why not?
  9. Megan, Lavinia, Peg, Cathy and Janet have many talents and advantages in life. Do they make full use of their gifts? In what ways do they fail to use them? Why?
  10. From the beginning of Superior Women, Megan is embarrassed by her mother and makes sure that none of her friends ever meet her. At the novel's very end, her mother becomes a valued member of Megan's group. What differences and what similarities do you see between Megan and her mother? What finally brings them together?

Introduction

The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for discussion of Alice Adams' Superior Women. We hope that these ideas will enrich your discussion and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Reading Group Discussion Points
  1. Superior Women charts the shifting roles and identities of four women from the 1940s to the early 1980s. How were their choices affected — or not affected — by societal expectations?
  2. Money, ethnic and class distinctions figure prominently in the novel. Megan recognizes that many of these distinctions are artificial, and is sometimes surprised by their power (for example, when she is not invited to Lavinia's wedding). Do you think that these divisions are as strong today?
  3. The character Adam Marr makes a characteristically blunt assessment of Megan and her friends, stating: "You superior women have a real problem for yourselves, don't you. Just any old guy won't do. You wouldn't like him, and even if you did your strength would scare him, make him mad." Do you believe that he is stating the author's view? Why or why not?
  4. Adam Marr says that the kind of man Megan needs is a hero. Does she ever find one?
  5. None of the women in the novel find happiness in marriage. Discuss why this is so, and what you believe the author's view of marriage to be.
  6. Over the course of the novel, the political background changes drastically, from World War II to the Civil Rights Movement to the neo-Conservatism of the 1980s. Peg clearly came into her own in the 1960s. Which eras most suited the other characters? Which period seems mostsimilar to today?
  7. Superior Women contrasts an East Coast versus a West Coast mentality. Give some examples of the two mindsets as displayed in the novel. In your experience, what characterizes an East Coast or West Coast outlook?
  8. Does the shelter for homeless people at the end of the novel strike you as a valuable way for Megan, Peg, Henry and the others to spend their time? Why or why not?
  9. Megan, Lavinia, Peg, Cathy and Janet have many talents and advantages in life. Do they make full use of their gifts? In what ways do they fail to use them? Why?
  10. From the beginning of Superior Women, Megan is embarrassed by her mother and makes sure that none of her friends ever meet her. At the novel's very end, her mother becomes a valued member of Megan's group. What differences and what similarities do you see between Megan and her mother? What finally brings them together?

Alice Adams, born in Virginia and educated at Radcliffe College, is the author of ten highly praised novels. Her short stories have appeared in twenty-two O. Henry Award scollections and several volumes of Best American Short Stories. She has been the recipient of an Academy and Institute Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. Ms. Adams' other novels include Almost Perfect, a New York Times Notable Book, and Medicine Men, both published by Washington Square Press. She lives in San Francisco.

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SUPERIOR WOMEN 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Getting of the train, on a Friday night that is also New Year's Eve, Lavinia is very beautiful. With the perfectly fitted, perfectly simple black coat (that cost more than a month salary of the Negro fitting woman), she wears perfect black suede shoes, with high thin heels, and a filmy pale pink scarf at her throat. As she steps down carefully from the high train, off and into Gordon's arms, she sees her own beauty reflected in Gordon's eyes. In his kiss.' This is my kind of book the type of book I always long for. The women characters are so absolutely different, so terribly complicated and oh so very much like the people we know, or where some of the very personalities shown, remind us of ourselves, of the ways we were, or are. Superior Women takes us into the lives of five women who were college students at Radcliffe together at one time, and then Ms. Adams carries us into their adult lives, so we at least read about twenty years into the lives of these females. Meet Lavinia from Virginia, so vain, the perfect blonde who has everything going for her, or has she? She has wealth and good looks, but can these things give her what she truly wants out of life? Then we have Janet, not a favourite of Lavinia's, who does not considers Jews. But Janet is a good student and dedicated to her beau an army lad. Now let's look at Cathy who is the mysterious one, who everyone tries to figure out and no one seems to be able to do this with any luck. A very interesting person but??? Then we meet Peg who has a problem with her weight but and tends to remain on the heavy side, and sticks to Lavinia and Megan. It is in the latter part of her life that her life changes beyond belief just wait for this surprise, and then lastly, the one woman I consider the main character of the entire novel Megan Greene. Megan hails from California but has yearned to come to the East after meeting a young man from Cape Cod whom she suspects is wealthy, and she thinks she might have a chance with. Megan pulls out all the stops to get to Radcliff in Massachusetts, eager to leave her dowdy existence and her humble parentsin California. You will be mesmerized and entertained as the lives of these five women interlace in this amazing book. If you like Rona Jaffe's books you will certainly enjoy this one. Highly recommended!!! A treat!!! Reviewed by Heather Marshall Negahdar. Bridgetown, BARBADOS 03/04/06
KHHSC 6 months ago
Superior Women follows the lives of four women from their first meeting at Radcliffe in the waning days of World War II though the boom years of the 1950s, the Civil Rights movement and the divisions caused by the Vietnam War. Lavinia is the self-styled group leader. Aristocratic and beautiful, she marries for money and spends the rest of her life looking for love and understanding. Peg, the wealthiest of the four, struggles to fit in and only finds her identity later in life. Cathy is a shy conservative Catholic girl whose devotion to her religion costs her the relationship she desires and leads her into great sorrow. Megan, the outsider from California, is the consummate career woman. A successful editor, she climbs the corporate ladder to become independently wealthy while choosing to remain single. While I enjoyed reading Superior Women, I think I would have enjoyed it more when it was originally published in 1984. In the Me Too era, the discrimination faced by women in earlier decades is evident and painful. The casual caste system followed by the upper class in Boston and New York is off-putting. I found some of the descriptive language used in referring to women and African Americans racist, misogynistic and disturbing. It is amazing to see how far women have come since then in terms of equality and the distance still left to cover.
Rachel_Denise01 7 months ago
Superior Women by Alice Adams is a fictional account that is a very interesting perspective into the lives of five different women in the same social circles, and somewhat friends, spanning almost 40 years. Peaking into minds of Megan, Lavinia, Cathy, Janet, and Peg from the late 1940s in college and how they live their lives until the early 1980s gives the reader a retrospective look at a multigenerational timeline and how one’s decisions and goals have changing, and lasting, effects. I find the women interesting in the fact that the author presents them as imperfect and flawed. We women may now not be able to identify with their thoughts and motives in the same way as 40 years ago, however we can still take those mistakes and choices and reflect those into what our respective choices have been in our own lives. A very interesting read, albeit somewhat on the slower end in some areas, into the lives of women over the span of half of their lives. 4/5 stars