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The Red Book Hardcover – April 3, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
The novel centers on four alum - Mia, Clover, Addison and Jane - who roomed together when they were students. Mia is primarily a mother with four children. Mothering comes naturally to her and she loves it. She has three boys who are already pretty self-sufficient and she has a new-born girl named Zoe. She is married to Jonathon, a successful Hollywood director, and they have a house in California and one in Antibes, France. When Mia first graduated Harvard, she had hoped to be an actress but this dream never came to fruition.
Clover is married, though this happened to her rather late in life. She had worked in the mortgage backing department of Lehman brothers until the company went bankrupt. Currently she is unemployed and living off her past earnings. She has a place in Manhattan and in the Hamptons. She and her husband are trying to have a child. Half-black and half-white, Clover comes from a different sort of background. She lived on a commune with hippies and was witness to all sorts of drug-inspired orgies and was home-schooled until entering Harvard.
Addison's background is privileged. She comes from generations of people who have attended Harvard and feels entitled to just about everything.Read more ›
I haven't read any of the author's other books, but she does have some clout coming in, and by the time I was three-quarters of the way through, I had decided she had enough psychological depth to carry off what she was trying to do. I ended up really enjoying the way she takes each character and implies big themes about that character's stage in life. I never did sympathize with that first character, Addison. However, her story arc included a really terrible husband who was echoed lightly in one of the others, and both husbands left the picture. That contributed to the satisfying sense that in spite of all the things that have gone so terribly, everybody's going to be just fine.
This book about Harvard alums will astonish with the incredible range of life experience it manages to pack in, and give book clubs in particular a lot to talk about.
The central story focuses on four women who graduated together--Addison, Clover, Mia, and Jane. Secondary and tertiary characters include spouses, lovers, friends, children, and other graduates that fill in the spaces and paint a portrait of a once close-knit community that has diverged over the past two decades. As the twenty-year reunion in Cambridge approaches, certain lives are headed toward catastrophe, some are on a precipice, and many are headed into serious change.
Addison is stuck in a static marriage with a thoughtless, selfish man who barely helped raise their kids. Clover struggles with fertility issues and an employment problem. Her banking career went belly-up with the 2008 economic collapse, and her husband refuses to squirt in a specimen cup. Mia is happily married to a prominent, much older Hollywood director, has two teenagers and a new baby, but is blind to the truth of their assets.
Jane, a widow and successful journalist, lived in Paris with her daughter and boyfriend until he betrayed her trust while she was in Boston caring for her terminally ill mother. Jane knew grief at a tender age--she was a Vietnamese child orphan, a casualty of war, then adopted by Americans.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was a wonderful light read. One of those books to pick up when you just need something to read but are not sure what exactly you feel like reading.Published 5 months ago by Rebecca
Thought this was going to be too much about self-absorbed, entitled rich kids when I started reading it, but I became more interested in how their lives were taking interesting... Read morePublished 7 months ago by GeorgiaGirl in Maryland
Perhaps it's the poitical climate of today that turned me off to the subject of the entitled individulas in our culture that this novel's premise was based on. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Elsa Minx
This book gives Harvard grads a bad name. Just about everyone at the reunion has cheated on their spouse. How pathetic these characters are. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Hena
Excellent, fun, smart novel. Deborah Kogan's story of the lives and life changes of a bunch of Harvard classmates uses a stock plot device to depict the complications, happiness... Read morePublished on July 26, 2014 by dragonlady