I picked up this book because the premise spoke to my liberal arts college teacher side. I should note that I did my undergraduate work at one of the biggest universities in the country – about 40,000 students – which is about as different an experience as you can get from where I teach now – 700 students. Still, the college experience is almost universal.
The four women in this novel come from various backgrounds and parts of the country. The southern belle, the sassy feminist, the one who is engaged, and the sarcastic one. They are randomly assigned to rooms on the same floor at Smith, an all-women’s college, and thinking they have nothing in common with one another, become best friends. Through college and beyond, we slowly are introduced to the complexities of each of these women who were originally presented as stereotypes, and we come to realize that there is no such thing as a stereotype.
Originally I expected this to be a typical no-brainer chick lit novel (note that I am not using that phrase in a derogatory sense – there is a time and a place for such a novel, and I enjoy them a lot), but it was much more than that. The character development was much more detailed than you normally see in that kind of book, and the plot…got thick. Fast.
This first novel by Sullivan speaks to what she will likely accomplish. It isn’t revolutionary, but it stands apart from other books, and I would be hard pressed to classify it to a single genre. A blurb on the back of the book says it best – “it’s a beach read for smart chicks”.
Agreed and well said.