Sunday, August 21, 2011

Daughters of the Revolution by Carolyn Cooke

I was mesmerized by the review that I read of this book in the Times.   I tend to enjoy reading books about colleges and prep schools and the strife that often occurs between students and/or within the students that are the center of the novel. So that's why I was drawn to this novel.

The novel focuses, mainly, on a New England all-male prep school in the 60's.  The school, which is nearly all white and is all male, is struggling with issues of race and socioeconomic status and the headmaster is trying to decide if the school should go coed when the first female is accidentally admitted (her name is Carole, a name that the secretary mistakenly thinks is male).  Not only is Carole female, but she is black and from the lower middle class, so she makes everyone uncomfortable.

This book was a bit disconcerting to read, although it ended up being moderately enjoyable. It was disconcerting because it often jumped around from first person to third person and often dealt with many different characters - sometimes you were learning about EV (the daughter of one of the prep school boys), the headmaster, Carole or EV's mother and it often took me a few pages to get used to the change in voice and figure out who I was dealing with exactly.  The characters themselves were what made the book enjoyable. They were engaging, multi-faceted, entertaining and three dimensional. I wanted to see more of them, learn about the challenges that they faced and were facing and I wanted to see them through until the end.  They made the novel worthy of the limited amount of time that I have to spend on books.

Moderately enjoyable enough to get out of the library but probably not enough to buy.

1 comment:

  1. You review some great books. I am wondering if you take submissions? I looked for your email but don't know how to contact you!


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