Curtis Sittenfeld

Despite the length of this book, I breezed through it in a couple of days, often unable to stop reading until reaching the end of a long chapter. It’s a coming-of-age story of a Midwestern, middle-class girl who decides she wants to go to boarding school, gets some scholarships, and ends up in New England. Once there Lee realizes the class divide is more striking than she anticipated and spends the next four years in a constant and painful state of insecurity. Written from the perspective of Lee in her mid-twenties, it’s at times unbearable, as she seems so aware of her behavior and how it dominoes her into even worse scenarios. But of course, she’s looking back and analyzing. Few people, teenagers especially, are actually that self-aware in the moment.

All the same, it was the sort of book that I wanted a “happy” ending, showing how she rose above it all, and it’s not really happy or sad. Which I guess is pretty realistic.