Thursday, May 28, 2009

Commencement-J. Courtney Sullivan

J. Courtney Sullivan
Knopf, Jun 16, 2009, $24.95
ISBN: 9780307270740

In the 1990s, Celia, Sally, Bree and April meet as first-year dorm mates at Smith College living in the dumpiest rooms of King House, but BFFs are not quite what occurs between them. While Sally grieves the recent death of her mother to cancer and wants to be left alone; April is an angry throwback radical whose pushiness and righteous contention upsets Catholic schoolgirl graduate Celia and Southern belle Bree.

However, not long afterward the quartet begins to forge a deep friendship that grows throughout their four years at Smith. Once they graduate each faces difficulties that in spite of being there for one another shakes their friendships. Still they are one for all and all for one until the night before Sally's wedding when a major spat seems to have dissolved their friendships. As each fume in outraged silence, the foursome begins to realize what they might have nuked as they miss their BFFs.

This is an interesting look at four BFFs who struggle with maintaining friendships as they embark on other relationships; not all positive. Each of the foursome seems real as an individual with differing desires and needs, and as part of the group. Although nothing new surfaces as many women’s fiction novels have covered similar turf, J. Courtney Sullivan keeps her tale fast-paced and entertaining through her wonderful lead quartet.

Harriet Klausner

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