Much happens at: The Radcliffe Ladies’ Reading Club by Julia Bryan

As many may remember, Radcliffe was once the women’s college affiliated with Harvard University. As such, it was one of the prestigious seven sisters schools.

As this novel, set in the 1950s, opens four young women are enrolled as Radcliffe freshman. They each arrive at school with their own family history. Tess hopes to be a writer and is happy to leave an unhappy home life behind in order to be a scholarship student at the school. Tess’s roommate, Caroline, is a wealthy young woman with a voluminous wardrobe. She seems less interested in academics than in dating and having fun. There are then Merritt and Evie rounding out the group.

A new bookstore has opened in Cambridge. The slightly mysterious owner, Alice, is planning to have a monthly book group with the first selection being Jane Eyre. Our four protagonists join.

I enjoyed this book’s setting and the way that the gracious life of a 1950s women’s school was brought to life. I could completely visualize the common room’s sofas and the dorm dining room where waitressed meals were served. These details accurately reflect the novel’s time period. I also enjoyed and eagerly waited to see which book would be discussed each month.

Many things happen to and around these four young women. They go through some difficult times on their way to adulthood and the story can be quite dramatic.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for this title. All opinions are my own.

Content warning:

Violence against one of the women

Pub date: 06 June 2023

Author: joycesmysteryandfictionbookreviews

I love to read, recommend books and open the world of reading to others. I tutor to ensure that the next generation of readers will know the joys of a good book because their reading skills have improved. I am an avid reader, especially of mysteries and fiction. I believe that two of the world's greatest inventions were the public library and eyeglasses!

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