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Superior Women: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries) [Kindle Edition]

Alice Adams
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $10.99
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

“Reads easily, even breathlessly. . . . The subtle but intensely felt shifts of closeness among the young women are lovingly and expertly laid bare.” -- John Updike
This ambitious and richly compelling Superior Women is in the grand tradition of The Group and Wendy Wasserstein’s Uncommon Women and Others, a tradition continued by J. Courtney Sullivan’s Commencement.
Radcliffe, 1943. Five young women, newly admitted to college, meet for the first time. Taking us into their lives at college, and beyond, through four tumultuous and crowded decades,  Alice Adams has given us a novel rich in all tee pleasures of characterization and incident and social observation that we have come to expect from her.

Editorial Reviews


Barbara Koenig Quart Ms. magazine Adams has a way of capturing the multilayered reality of what passes between people in a moment in time....Superior Women has keen things to say about women past and present, and is pleasurable, intelligent reading. -- Review

Reads easily, even breathlessly...the subtle but intensely felt shifts of closeness among the young women are lovingly and expertly laid bare. -- John Updike

[T]he tune being called in Superior Women is tricky. It lulls you, and surely the author means it to, with its harmonious form.... For Miss Adams, applying her elegant, rhythmic style to the form, the challenge lies in making it new, fitting it to her own literary place and our time. -- The New York Times Book Review, Lois Gould

From the Inside Flap

"A remarkable compression of time, memory, and sentiment -- rather as if Hemingway had been turned loose on Proust . . ." San Francisco Chronicle
By the New York Times Bestselling author of "Almost Perfect" and "Careless Love," a brilliant novel tracing the tangled, heart-warming and heartbreaking relationships of a group of intelligent and attractive young women as they grow to maturity over the course of four explosive decades in American life -- from the forties to the eighties. Sharing tears and laughter . . . and, sometimes, men, the women learn what they can really count on -- themselves and each other.
"These women, at the same time friends and enemies, touch each other's lives in ways no one else can -- not even lovers or husbands. . . Alice Adams must be one of her own superior women." United Press International

Product Details

  • File Size: 564 KB
  • Print Length: 367 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st edition (June 8, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00513D3YQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #637,514 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book, an accurate rendering. July 2, 2001
Alice Adams draws the reader into the lives of five college women and then leads us through to their old age. The writing in this book is masterful. It shows us the interior lives of women -- the need for love, for lust, for career success, for acceptance. I could see parts of myself in each of the girls. Adams renders the relationship of women so accurately. Most books try to make female relationships too slap happy or too backstabbing. This is a gentle balance of both. The girls don't really like each other, but they do. It's real. And, the girls are real, too. I once had a literature professor who said that women can be categorized into three cubbyholes -- the black widow, the sea cow, and the ladybug. The black widow was sexiness, the sea cow was motherliness, and the ladybug was girlishness. Well, Alice Adams defies those stereotypes and creates five women who are not just surface pretty pictures of what women should be, but complete women who are as capable of sin as they are of kindness -- superior women.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adams is very skilled. I will miss her. December 28, 1999
As one of the previous reviewers said, the story is "lite" yet compelling. That is true. But what makes this story much better than other stories of friendships and change is Adams' impressive writing skill. She can plumb the grey areas of character and motivation while maintaining a lean, readable style. There are no seeds of parody in this story. The events are interesting, the relationships are realistic and the author has an elegant way of displaying the characters' mistakes and foibles without heavy handed judgement.
And if that does not convince you, try this: My wife was reading a book on coming of age among women. I asked her how she rated the book. Her response: "This author is trying to be Alice Adams."ÿ
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So-so September 26, 2005
A group of intelligent young women meets at Radcliffe College in 1943 and immediately bonds, because of the proximity of their dormitory rooms. As a group, they are almost a cliche, one rich and beautiful, one overweight and very plain, another, dark, intense and Jewish, yet another, dark, intense and Catholic and the last of them, not quite beautiful, not quite stylish but with an as yet unkindled, but very strong, sexual drive. The story continues through their study years, marriages, love affairs and business successes. Of course, there is lots of drama and breast beating as the story progresses through several wars, straying husbands and recalcitrant children, but it's all a bit too much like a soapie for me to really ok read !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book follows the live's of these 5 women through 4 they intertwine, grow, think, and make their choice's. I finished this book in a day and very late night. I was captivated by their choice's and what made them tick, it was interesting how I could relate to all the character's in different way's; yet completely abhor some of their behavior! It's wonderful how the author capture's their human aspect along with their "woman" qualities. A fun romp.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect novel to take on a vacation May 29, 1999
Women will especially enjoy the tale of women who grow up and grow apart and together again. Perfect to take to the beach or on any trip as a well written but "lite" story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A REAL TREAT!!! I LOVED IT!!! March 15, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"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.
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