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Women's Studies Paperback – October 1, 2006
Top Customer Reviews
Watts tells the story of three young women, all named Elizabeth, during their third year in college. Each woman is taking `Women in Literature' taught by Dr. Angela Rivers, and has some connection to the others via other students.
First is Liz. Liz is dating Dan, but is unfulfilled in their relationship. Dan is not interested in sex and treats Liz more like a friend than a lover. When she meets Audrey, Liz's world is turned upside down and she's experienced confusion beyond measure.
Next is Elisa. Elisa is dating Jo, her girlfriend from high school. Jo is majoring in PE and cares about only two things - sports and Elisa. Elisa is majoring in education, but is convinced to change her major to Literature by Dr. Rivers. The professor offers to be more than just Elisa's advisor; thus causing Elisa to reevaluate her wants and needs, especially where Jo is concerned.
Lastly is Beth. Beth is the deeply closeted daughter of a high society family. She outwardly dates Mike, a guy in the same situation. They help each other seem straight to others. However, they find ways to covertly visit the local gay night spot where they hook up with others for anonymous sex. That is, until Beth and Mike both meet people they cannot resist.
Watts flips back and forth between these three lovely young women and their friends. Each of the students has a unique problem and the reader can't help but relate in some way to at least one of them. We've all had friends with similar issues and experiences as well.Read more ›
When I was an undergraduate at a large, southern university, I had several friends who tried to hide the fact that they came from families who had always "lived down in the holler," and so I find the portrayal of Elisa's parents to be realistic. That Elisa is conflicted about the image her parents project seems typical of a young adult who is struggling to grow beyond the confines of a small town. Also, I'm not sure why one would expect this novel to be "intellectual," and it does not pretend to be so as Watts' descriptive writing and attention to unique details provide vivid images of the characters and their experiences. Structurally, the novel is satisfying as Watts seamlessly weaves the three stories of the three Elizabeths into an entertaining and insightful story.
This novel is not out to reveal harsh or shocking truths about its basically down-to-earth, endearing characters. Instead, it stays in calmer and quieter territory, giving insights into the gnarls of romantic and family relationships.