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The Group
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
101 posts | 82 read | 3 reading | 120 to read
Mary McCarthys bold and brilliant bestselling novel about the lives of eight upper-middle-class friendsan unabashed look at marriage, motherhood, career, and sexuality for women in interwar America At Vassar, they were known as the groupeight young women of privilege, the closest of friends, an eclectic mix of vibrant personalities. A week after graduation in 1933, they all gather for the wedding of Kay Strong, one of their own, before going their separate ways in the world. In the years that follow, they will each know accomplishment and loss in equal measure, pursuing careers and marriage, experiencing the joys and traumas of sexual awakening and motherhood, all while suffering through betrayals, infidelities, and sometimes madness. Some of them will drift apart. Some will play important roles in the personal dramas of others. But it is tragedy that will ultimately unite the group once again. A novel that stunned the world when it was first published in 1963, Mary McCarthys The Group found acclaim, controversy, and a place atop the New York Times bestseller list for nearly two years for its frank and controversial exploration of womens issues, social concerns, and sexuality. A blistering satire of the mores of an emergent generation of women, The Group is McCarthys enduring masterpiece, still as relevant, powerful, and wonderfully entertaining fifty years on. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Mary McCarthy including rare images from the authors estate.
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TheBookHippie
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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I had no clue this was a movie 🤣🤷🏻‍♀️ whelp now I have entertainment to do laundry by🧺

KathyWheeler Is this based on the Mary McCarthy book? 4mo
TheBookHippie @KathyWheeler yup so it said in the intro credits! 4mo
KathyWheeler @TheBookHippie Oh, good! I‘m going to have to watch it. 4mo
48 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Rissreads
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Pickpick

This was my latest bookclub pick. It generated fantastic conversation. It‘s strange to enjoy a book when you don‘t like most of the characters.
It made me incredibly sad that it is set 90 years ago in the 1930‘s and we as women are still facing a lot of the same issues and struggles.

Centique I enjoyed this too! So many unlikeable characters but it was such a good window into oppression and gender roles wasn‘t it? 🤔 1y
29 likes1 comment
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Tanisha_A
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Mehso-so

Gosh! The last 3 months have flown for me (getting married is a task for sure 🤪), with almost zero reading in it. This book didn't help, either. I did like the themes it portrayed – marriage, career, motherhood, friendship, feminism, New York in 1930s, horrible men (seriously, most were repulsive!) – but it felt unnecessarily long. That said, i liked how Mary made it funny and witty though. I'd say that's the primary reason i stuck to it.

TrishB But look at that view 😁 2y
wanderinglynn Beautiful view! 2y
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LeahBergen Lovely photo! 2y
UwannaPublishme Beautiful photo, and congrats! 🥂💕 2y
Tanisha_A @UwannaPublishme @TrishB @wanderinglynn @readordierachel @LeahBergen Thanks people! ❤️ This was taken at Maldives, good times. 2y
Reggie That‘s a beautiful pic! Glad to see you back, Tanisha. 2y
Tanisha_A @Reggie Hi Reg! Thankeeee 😊 2y
Centique An amazing shot! That‘s the most beautiful reading view I think I‘ve seen on Litsy 😍 2y
Tanisha_A @Centique Thanks Paula! It was magnificent. ❤️ 2y
Suet624 What a beautiful reading spot. 2y
Rissreads I‘m so late but congratulations on your wedding ♥️ 1y
58 likes12 comments
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jenniferw88
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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I may not have finished the book, but this was my impression of the first two chapters. #bestbuddyread #galentinesbuddyread @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB

Cinfhen Hahaha 🤣 exactly 🙌🏻💕 2y
BarbaraBB A lot of fake in the book indeed!! 2y
AmyG Ha! 2y
Cathythoughts Good one 👍🏻 2y
68 likes4 comments
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erzascarletbookgasm
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Mehso-so

I‘m not sure if I should review this, as admittedly, I skimmed through some portion of the book. The writing style took a bit of getting used to & I can see how this book has a reputation when first published. It was interesting (but tedious) to read about these women during that period in time..& their struggles, & the old fashioned ideas on some topics. I appreciate the satire & themes McCarthy was dealing with.

erzascarletbookgasm Perhaps I will like it more if I was in the right frame of mind while reading it. Thanks for organising @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB
Sorry I didn‘t join in the discussion, I‘m sure there were lots to discuss about, will look up the comments. #galentine
2y
batsy Yes, it was somehow both interesting and tedious! 😆 2y
rubyslippersreads I found a lot of it tedious too, but I‘m sure it was considered quite shocking when first published. 🤭 2y
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rubyslippersreads @batsy Exactly. But I think what we find tedious now might have been the most shocking to readers then. 2y
BarbaraBB It was interesting to learn about that timeframe indeed but McCarthy needed so many words 😉 2y
emilyhaldi I too did quite a bit of skimming 😁 2y
Cinfhen Great review/ this book was unnecessarily wordy and the author made the group hard to differentiate amongst themselves. If she would have stuck to fewer girls, I think it would have flowed better 2y
60 likes7 comments
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batsy
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Mehso-so

My February reading has slowed to a trickle, & I'm embarrassed to say that I've been reading The Group for slightly over two weeks. This book makes me understand how a novel's style is as distinctive as a personality; I didn't get on with McCarthy's style. It was like attending a party filled with acquaintances I didn't like & having that one garrulous, self-absorbed person corner me for a length of time to breathlessly gossip about the others.

batsy The reason why this isn't a pan is because I'd be lying if I said I wasn't on occasion interested in the gossip/novel. McCarthy is shrewd, with an eye for the satiric, & there are some truly entertaining lines & moments that reveal the glaring hypocrisies of this upper-crust milieu. There are also moments of brutal violence & everyday misogyny folded into the narratives of almost all the women; it's pervasive & the effect is dark & claustrophobic. 2y
batsy I'm sorry I didn't make it in time for the #galentine discussion @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB but I'm going to try to look back at the comments when I can. Thanks for organising, once again--it looks like it was a lively discussion. For all that this was a #struggleread I can say with certainty that I'm glad I got to read it as it's been on my list for a very long time! 2y
Cinfhen Lovely & insightful review ❤️ 2y
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Twainy This made me think of books I‘ve read recently that I didn‘t like but didn‘t pan either. I‘ve felt this way. 2y
Caroline2 Yes! I‘ve been thinking about that a lot lately, that I just don‘t get on with some writing styles. Some click with your brain and others just don‘t, do they. 🤷‍♀️ 2y
BarbaraBB I feel you and I felt the same 2y
batsy @Cinfhen Thank you 💜 2y
batsy @Twainy @Caroline2 @BarbaraBB Glad to hear we've experienced the same; sometimes it just doesn't click :) Or it's the wrong timing. 2y
cozypunk 😆 2y
Reggie Lol awesome review! 2y
batsy @dandy.punk 😁 2y
batsy @Reggie Thanks! 🙂 2y
Cathythoughts Yes ! Like @Reggie says Awesome review 👍🏻 2y
LeahBergen Oh, dear. You probably should have just bailed. But I‘m loving the collage. 😆😆 2y
cozypunk Based on reviews, I *won't* read this book, but standing-O for sassy posts about it! 2y
readordierachel Great review. I love your party analogy. The push and pull of "please let this be over" and juicy tidbits of gossip ?? 2y
CarolynM Yeah, I know what you mean. And you say it so well👏😘 2y
batsy @dandy.punk Haha! There's a movie adaptation that I might check out; maybe that'll be less of a hardship than the book :) 2y
batsy @Cathythoughts Thanks Cathy! 😘 I appreciated your insights and experience reading this one. 2y
batsy @LeahBergen Haha! In a way, I'm glad to have it chalked up as "read" ? 2y
erzascarletbookgasm Oh well said 👍. And I love the collage 😂 2y
batsy @erzascarletbookgasm Thank you 😘 2y
Suet624 I know it was so popular when it came out. I wonder what grabbed people at the time? 2y
batsy @Suet624 It must have tapped into the "personal is political" awakening of second-wave feminism at the time. On the level of the experiences of women it depicts, it would have been pretty revelatory at the time, I think. 2y
Suet624 Right. I haven‘t read it yet...but I was hoping to catch a glimpse of why my mother hid the book like it was forbidden, even as she was reading it while my dad was at work. I purchased it for the group read but it came very late to the house so it‘s further down now on my reading list. 😳 now I‘m in the middle of my own slog fest with 2y
batsy @Suet624 Ooh, I loved Independent People! 😂 But I can also understand why it's a slog. I'd love to know your thoughts on The Group when you get around to it. Will look out for your review 🙂 2y
Suet624 I think I‘m going to love Independent People when I‘m done with it and can see the whole picture. It‘s keeping me interested but it always puts me to sleep. 2y
batsy @Suet624 I hear you! I made it my morning book and tried to read it before the day started. It was almost impossible to have the concentration it required to read at other points of the day, for me. 2y
Suet624 Oh! That‘s a good idea! I‘m usually a one-book-at-a-time gal but that idea would definitely help. 2y
GatheringBooks I love the description you made! Reminds me of why i try to avoid parties (esp getting-to-know soirees) as much as humanly possible 😭😂🤪 2y
batsy @GatheringBooks I'm very much the same 😂 2y
Centique My reading has slowed to a trickle this month too! Wonderful review Suba. I enjoyed this but I can totally see why others didn‘t. 2y
batsy @Centique Thanks, Paula 😘 I'm not sure what it is about this month; hopefully our reading mojo is back in full force soon 😁💪🏽 2y
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Billypar
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Pickpick

One of my favorite things about this novel is the idea at its core - what happens when you follow a group of eight friends after college graduation, but focus on each separately as individuals? I struggle with long novels that lack a central plot but McCarthy's vivid characterizations kept me engaged. It was revealing to witness the seeds of modern feminism in the 1930s, even as all the negative "-isms" were thriving in New York high society.

Billypar I really enjoyed reading all the comments on the discussion posts @Cinfhen and @BarbaraBB Sorry to have missed it, but looking forward to July's read! 2y
Cinfhen Wonderful review. Sorry you “missed” the discussion but looking forward to discussing our next book with you 😊 2y
BarbaraBB Glad you enjoyed it and happy to know you‘ll join again in June! 2y
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Cathythoughts Great review! I really enjoyed this too 2y
Billypar @Cinfhen Thanks! 🙂 2y
Billypar @BarbaraBB Whoops- thank you, *June* not July. 2y
Billypar @Cathythoughts Thanks! 🙂 Glad you liked it also. 2y
50 likes7 comments
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KVanRead
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Pickpick

So glad I joined the #bestbuddyread — I absolutely loved this. I thought her writing was fantastic, masterful. I became completely engrossed in the characters, even the ones I hated like Norine and Harald. Such a revealing look at women‘s lives (a select group of women) at a time in history I have no desire to revisit. This was no doubt sensational at the time but it does not romanticize or pull punches. 5⭐️
Photo = Vassar Daisy Chain see link⤵️

BarbaraBB Wow, a five star read! I am glad you enjoyed it so much and value your opinion in this review and our discussion. 🤍 2y
BarbaraBB And that picture is fantastic, it‘s Kay‘s wedding as I imagined it! 2y
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KVanRead @BarbaraBB It does look like a wedding but it‘s actually the Vassar Daisy Chain! (edited) 2y
Cinfhen Photo is fabulous! Great review 💕So glad you enjoyed the book ~ looking forward to our next BuddyRead 2y
BarbaraBB That‘s awesome. 2y
49 likes6 comments
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i.besteph
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Mehso-so

#bookspinbingo #february #23
This one was part of the #galentines buddy read. Although I wasn‘t a big fan of the book, I am glad to be done with it. I don‘t like leaving a book halfway.

The book itself is monotonous. You can‘t miss the satirical tone of the author as she describes the lives of the characters. Tbh I felt she hated people in general to give the characters such devastating lives. 😅😂

Rating: 3/5
Book description ⬇️

i.besteph Book description: Mary McCarthy's most celebrated novel follows the lives of eight Vassar graduates, known simply to their classmates as "the group." An eclectic mix of personalities and upbringings, they meet a week after graduation to watch Kay Strong get married. After the ceremony, the women begin their adult lives:.....1/3 contd⬇️ 2y
i.besteph traveling to Europe, tackling the worlds of nursing and publishing, and finding love and heartbreak in the streets of New York City. Through the years, some of the friends grow apart and some become entangled in each other's affairs, but all vow not to become like their mothers and fathers......2/3 contd ⬇️ 2y
i.besteph It is only when one of them dies that they all come back together again to mourn the loss of a friend, a confidante, and most importantly, a member of the group.....3/3 2y
20 likes3 comments
review
Cuilin
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Pickpick

This is the worst book I‘ve ever loved. Yes you read that right. I hated them all, especially the male characters. Yet, I couldn‘t stop reading. Ok I liked Polly, and Dr Ridgeley seemed safe and, Lakey was kick-ass. Not an easy read due to the neurotic, self absorbed characters but I also sympathized with their lack of agency even with their Vassar education. Great buddy read @BarbaraBB @Cinfhen Has anyone seen the movie?

TheBookHippie I AM Not the only one !!!!!! I didn‘t like any of them 🤣 2y
TheBookHippie I think I‘ll see if the library has the movie. 2y
Cuilin @TheBookHippie they‘re hard to like. There were moments though. They didn‘t seem to like each other. 2y
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TheBookHippie @Cuilin they didn‘t like themselves .. 2y
mommyincolortv I think I read this a couple of years ago... I didn't finish it but I remember liking it and not liking it. Think I'll read it again this year. 2y
Cuilin @mommyincolor it‘s a difficult one to describe, it caused so many mixed emotions. 2y
lynneamch I watched the movie on Amazon Prime after I had read about 1/3 of the book. I thought it was very true to the book and helped me keep the characters straight when I went back to reading. Worth watching! 2y
Cuilin @lynneamch oh thanks, I‘m curious about the movie. Will probably watch it. 2y
BarbaraBB Great review! I disliked them all too and yet it made for a good story! 2y
Cinfhen Great photo!!!! And wonderful review 😀 @DebinHawaii and @rubyslippersreads both watched film via Amazon Prime and thought it was well done 👍🏻 I‘m gonna watch it too (edited) 2y
Cinfhen Check out Candice Bergen.....a relative @LeahBergen ?!?!! 2y
LeahBergen @Cinfhen Sadly, no. But wouldn‘t that be nice? 😆 2y
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review
AnneCecilie
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Pickpick

I didn‘t know anything about this before I started reading it, and we didn‘t get a good start. In the forward it was compared to Sex and the City and I‘m not a fan of that show. I watched 11 ep of the first season and got so mad that I had to stop watching. And that first page in the book, I really didn‘t like the writing style there. The first chapter was a little confusing introducing all the characters. (Cont in comments)

AnneCecilie But after that the book started to focus on one of the girls at the time and you got to know them and their different situations and hopes. And I got sucked into the story. I basically read the entire book over the weekend. I can absolutely see that this book was controversial when it came out. 2y
BarbaraBB You made it in time for the discussion! Glad it was a pick! 🤍 2y
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BarbaraBB
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Question 6 of 6
#Galentine #BestBuddyRead

vlwelser I actually like the time period this takes place in. Because of the clothes. 2y
See All 52 Comments
TrishB I‘m rocking up in 1485 to save Richard III 😁 2y
DebinHawaii I was totally vibing on all of the food descriptions in the book—so many weird & wonderful cocktails & those “minced sea clams, the new canned kind, on toast” & salmon loaf with creamed pickle sauce. It may come as no surprise that most of my notes are food-related.🤷🏻‍♀️Anyway, I think New York in the 20s-50s would be fun for the cultural (& food) history. (edited) 2y
DebinHawaii BTW—in case you are worried, I am not saying most of the food sounded good but I love funky retro recipes & drinks! 😉 2y
BarbaraBB @DebinHawaii I was thinking of you while reading those recipes 👩‍🍳 2y
Cinfhen I noticed the food descriptions too @DebinHawaii @BarbaraBB and of course you are @TrishB I picture you as a Joan of Arc hellraiser 2y
Cinfhen I agree the 1920‘s 1930‘s NY scene is pretty cool @vlwelser I‘m thinking like Long Island and the Great Gatsby 2y
Cinfhen Although, I wouldn‘t mind hanging out with Cleopatra 2y
BarbaraBB I‘d like to hang out in Paris with Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Paul Sartre. 2y
TrishB Or I‘d also like to be a suffragette and be the first woman MP 😁 2y
TrishB @Cinfhen yes please 😁 2y
DebinHawaii And thank you for hosting another fun buddy read @Cinfhen & @BarbaraBB ! I didn‘t love the book (or read the whole thing quite yet!) but I enjoyed the festivities. 🤗🎉 Also, if anyone has Amazon Prime, I watched the movie last night as it‘s free on & I thought they did a pretty good job with it. (Great fashion @vlwelser !) (edited) 2y
Cinfhen Thanks for joining us @DebinHawaii always fun to catch-up with you xxx 2y
Cinfhen Ahhh, that is definitely your calling 💪🏼 @trishb 2y
TrishB @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB thanks again for an entertaining weekend 😘❤️ look forward to the next! 2y
CarolynM Hm, I'll have to think about that one! Thanks for hosting this weekend party Barbara and Cindy😘😘 @cinfhen (edited) 2y
Cinfhen Always a pleasure friends @TrishB @CarolynM 2y
Kalalalatja That‘s a tough question! In some ways, I wouldn‘t mind spending some time in London‘s high class society in the era of Jane Austen. Mostly because I want to go to all the balls 😂 but considering women had no rights, I would only stay for a short visit 2y
i.besteph Based on just my great uncle‘s stories from the past, I would‘ve loved to live in the 70s. I‘d go all out, complete with bell bottoms and a huge Afro to match 😂 Also because being a colored person myself, it‘d seem right to visit a time where I‘d be accepted 😅 (edited) 2y
Cinfhen Hahaha @I.be.Stef I wouldn‘t mind hitting Studio 54 💃🏽🕺🏼💃🏽🕺🏼💃🏽great answer 2y
i.besteph Thank you @Cinfhen and @BarbaraBB for hosting the #bestbuddyread! Even though personally the book wasn‘t my favorite (I‘m still reading it) I‘m glad to have read something from a completely different time. I‘ve never been more glad to be in 2021 now 😂 I‘d be down to join some of your other challenges if you host one later. 🙌🏽 (edited) 2y
i.besteph @Cinfhen oooh absolutely! 🙌🏽💯 2y
peaknit I think I‘m abandoning the book, the long chapters and my current attention span cannot make peace. I‘d head back Marty McFly style and meet my parents in highschool. 2y
TheBookHippie @Cinfhen Cleopatra is it for me. 2y
Kimberlone I was busy this weekend and didn‘t really get a chance to take part in the Galentine‘s festivities, and since I have read this book before (it was okay), I didn‘t really feel like re-reading. This is the one discussion question I feel like I can contribute to though...I would absolutely love to have experienced the music and culture of the 1960s/70s...to have heard the Beatles for the first time would have been a revelation! 2y
LeahBergen @DebinHawaii I was so into the food descriptions in this book, too! 😆 2y
LeahBergen Ancient Egypt? Regency England? The 1920s “Bright Young Things” era of Cecil Beaton? And of course I would need to be fabulously wealthy and not drop dead of the first illness I contract. 2y
KVanRead @vlwelser LOVE the clothes 😍😍😍 2y
KVanRead @DebinHawaii The food and cocktails really intrigued me too! I love looking at weird recipes in old cookbooks - but not actually making any of it! LOL I love that she includes all those kinds of details, more so than male writers of that era did, I think. 2y
KVanRead There are so many time periods I‘d love to visit for the clothes and the historical figures I would want to chat with, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Van Gogh, but since they all pretty much suck for women, like @Kalalalatja I wouldn‘t want to stick around. Maybe the future (a hopefully Covid free, feminist and inclusive future 🤞🏽) would be the place I‘d like to visit. Thanks so much @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB this has been so much fun!! (edited) 2y
KVanRead @LeahBergen Fabulously wealthy and healthy would be key!! 2y
rubyslippersreads @TrishB I‘ll go with you! 👑 2y
rubyslippersreads @DebinHawaii Are you going to make “salmon wiggle”? 😄 2y
TrishB @LeahBergen you can still have all the vaccinations 😁 2y
TrishB @rubyslippersreads cool 😎👍🏻 2y
rubyslippersreads @DebinHawaii I enjoyed the movie too. But some of the actresses looked enough alike that I still had trouble telling who was who. 2y
rubyslippersreads @LeahBergen Is it cheating if you bring antibiotics? 😂 2y
rubyslippersreads I‘d like to be a first-class passenger on the Titanic (complete with trunks of fashionable frocks). I‘ll just be sure to leave right after afternoon tea on April 14. 😏 2y
rubyslippersreads Thanks so much for organizing this, @Cinfhen and @BarbaraBB 😊 This is a much nicer group than the Group in the book. 2y
DebinHawaii @rubyslippersreads I am considering it. The creamed pickle sauce sold me! 😋🤣 2y
DebinHawaii @rubyslippersreads Hah! Very good point! I was watching while reading & it was a bit of a challenge! 2y
DebinHawaii @LeahBergen @KVanRead Maybe we need a retro cookbook/weird recipes group! 😉 2y
CarolynM OMG!! @LeahBergen The food descriptions were disgusting!! 2y
KVanRead @DebinHawaii Love that idea! 2y
rubyslippersreads @DebinHawaii Nicky and Sadie think this recipe involves me serving them a live, wiggling salmon. 😹 2y
Cupcake12 I‘d love to be to have gone back in Tudor time with Queen Elizabeth reigning. The costumes, the societal extravagance but would take my toothbrush as they used coal! 2y
Centique @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB thanks for hosting guys! It was so fun 😊 Sorry I‘m super late with comments as always! 2y
Centique @DebinHawaii I am up for any retro food dishes/challenges you may think of @LeahBergen @KVanRead 🤪the historical food mentions were so fun in this. God they loved canned food didn‘t they?!! 2y
BarbaraBB @rubyslippersreads @Centique @KVanRead @I.be.Stef @CarolynM @TrishB @DebinHawaii Thank you for adding so much to the book and the weekend. Hope you‘ll join again for #HolidayEscape in June! 2y
35 likes1 stack add52 comments
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BarbaraBB
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Question 5 of 6
#Galentine #Bestbuddyread

AmyG Good for Lakey. She lived the life she wanted. I do think there is a good chance Kay killed herself. The story around her death was just so very odd. Was I surprised? I wasn‘t. Things happen in life with any group of people. If anything, I felt saddenned. (edited) 2y
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vlwelser I wish she had spent more time on Lakey because I found her the most interesting. 2y
vlwelser Regarding Kay, ugh. I'm not sure I even cared about her by the end. It does sort of bookend the book nicely though. 2y
squirrelbrain I agree that Kay probably did kill herself, but I think we knew her least out of all of the girls by the end, so it didn‘t really impact much. 2y
DebinHawaii Yes, for all of the attention in the book to Kay, it was mostly looking externally at her & I felt like I knew very little about her character other than the surface. So I‘m not sure about suicide or not but certainly could see it. (And full disclosure, I skipped some middle chapters!) Lakey is the one I wanted to hear more about too @vlwelser 2y
BarbaraBB McCarthy made clear that Kay couldn‘t live up to her own expectations of life. All was disappointing and Kay hid behind appearances. The ending of her life was in line with her character, whether it was an accident or not. 2y
Cinfhen Agreed @vlwelser it was interesting to start with Kay‘s wedding and end with her funeral. I‘m not sure if she killed herself but that one mother ( I can‘t recall her name) was so adamant about protecting Kay‘s reputation, even in death. She wanted to make sure there would be no scandal around Kay and by extension the rest of the group. 2y
Cinfhen That mother was all about appearances 🙄 2y
Cinfhen Lackey was awesome but she hardly played any role in the story. It was interesting to see the girls reactions when they understood Lakey‘s countess was more than just a friend. 2y
CarolynM I thought it was interesting that Lakey was the one they all gravitated around but she was also the elusive one - she was literally not there during the years of the book, but I felt like she'd barely been there during the college years too. They didn't really know her. The revelation of her sexuality at the end illustrated that. Maybe also they were kind of envious of her. Her sexuality may have added to the envy - she could do without men. 2y
i.besteph I‘ll have to come back to this question cuz I‘m not there yet! 😅 Also....what?? Poor Kay 2y
Cinfhen Uh oh.... spoiler alert @I.be.Stef 🙊🙊🙊 2y
BarbaraBB @I.be.Stef it‘s an open ending, please let this not ruin the book for you 🙏 2y
rubyslippersreads Kay‘s death and funeral seemed like an excuse to bring the Group back together. I think Kay might have died accidentally, but also took chances (leaning way out the window while drinking) because she didn‘t care if she lived or died. 2y
i.besteph @BarbaraBB No worries! Actually it helps to be prepared for what is to come ☺️ 2y
rubyslippersreads @Cinfhen @vlwelser Also, if Kay‘s death had been ruled a suicide, she would not have been able to have the type of religious service and burial she had once expressed a preference for. 2y
Cinfhen That‘s true @rubyslippersreads about both her lack of concern for life and not having a catholic burial if it was suicide 2y
TheBookHippie @vlwelser I agree with everything you‘ve said. 2y
LeahBergen I really felt that it was a suicide and she herself was complicit in making it look at that way. She was so driven by appearances and the opinion of others. But, 🤷🏻‍♀️? 2y
rubyslippersreads @LeahBergen @cinfhen Without spoiling the movie, I will say it makes it clear what happened. 2y
Cupcake12 Personally I wasn‘t surprised....as one of the more complicated characters to follow she was always battling herself. I still don‘t know whether to think accident or suicide. I would have liked to read and find out about Lakey‘s experience un daily life and how this was dealt with in 1930s America. 2y
Centique @CarolynM I really like that point you make that Lakey could do without men. She‘s like the comparison point brought in at the end - the one that escaped unscathed. But I do wonder if McCarthy failed to lift a curtain over Lakeys domestic life because of her sexuality? Was it easier for her to be out of sight? Also Harolds conversation with Lakey... do you feel she was playing him when she agreed she had “collected” the girls around her? 2y
CarolynM @Centique The comparison point, yes! And yes, it was certainly easier not to examine Lakey's experiences in any detail & maybe necessary from a publication viewpoint. I think Harald's litany of self justification at the end was covering up some serious feeling about Kay & L wanted to let H go on tormenting himself so she was going along with whatever he suggested. BTW I had to look up the "Daisy Chain" - a bit different from the one I'd heard of? 2y
Cinfhen Hmmmmm. I need to look up Daisy chain @CarolynMarie and check out the movie @rubyslippersreads 2y
Cinfhen Really insightful comments @Centique I‘d like to have a chat with this author/ 2y
Centique @CarolynM yes I thought she was just letting him run on and it probably wasn‘t the case. @Cinfhen yes wouldn‘t that be interesting? 2y
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The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Question 4 of 6
#Galentine #BestBuddyRead

AmyG Was the author biased or was that just the time of the story where men ruled everything? (edited) 2y
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vlwelser I didn't pick up on this. I felt like this was being told from the perspective of the girls so it didn't feel weird that the men were a bunch of idiots. I found the one that was fixated on breast feeding to be especially annoying. 2y
squirrelbrain Thinking back now I hardly even noticed the men - I had a hard enough time figuring out the different women. 🤣 However they were all portrayed in a negative way though weren‘t they. I liked the Dad who came to stay though - can‘t remember the girl‘s name. 2y
DebinHawaii @AmyG A good point. As much as I wanted to throat punch many of the women in the book (it did lessen in some) the men were mostly idiotic jerks. I think a lot of it was probably the time & the society. So much misogyny & mansplaining & posturing. Ugh. Different era & circumstances but I felt the same way I did about the men in this one (edited) 2y
Cinfhen I think Polly had the nice dad and the nice husband @squirrelbrain I can‘t remember but the rest of the men were total dicks. Harald was horrible as was his friend. I don‘t think the author was intentionally biased but I do think given the time when this book was written, men were not sensitive or revered their wives or other females 2y
TrishB @DebinHawaii good comparison! But I felt in Southern B.C that the author stereotyped them even more on purpose. You were supposed to dislike them? 2y
BarbaraBB @TrishB I think that you‘re right about that. They were so stereotypical indeed. Harald and Dick were caricatures. I liked Polly‘s dad also! 2y
Cinfhen I thought that was all tongue and cheek @DebinHawaii and intentionally over the top but yes... those men were definitely punch worthy 2y
DebinHawaii @Cinfhen @TrishB @BarbaraBB Good points! I think it was the putting your inconvenient unruly wife in the hospital thing that called it to mind & the groups of unlikeable husbands & men! 🤬 2y
AmyG I disliked the men because they expected women to behave a certain way. These men felt entitled to be treated a certain way by these women. Ha...I guess not much has changed. (edited) 2y
CarolynM The only one I thought was really ok was Polly's husband. He at least tried to be supportive of her and wanted to help her father. The father meant well, and we have to make allowances for his mental illness, but he was exploiting Polly with his overspending. The one I most despised was Priss's arrogant, conceited bastard of a husband. The dictatorial approach to how to deal with a baby was infuriating! (edited) 2y
Cinfhen Yes @AmyG the men definitely had a major sense of entitlement and polly‘s husband was the only decent guy @CarolynM 2y
CarolynM I think a lot of the point of the novel was to show many of the different ways I which men can have a significant negative impact on womens' lives. 2y
Kalalalatja @CarolynM I‘m with you on Priss‘ husband. He was beyond infuriating! 🙄🙄 2y
i.besteph I agree with many of the comments here. Tbh it‘s kind of scarred me in the perspective of how men “could be”🤦🏽‍♀️😅 The author may have portrayed them in a negative way but she hit it right in the nail. Many are just the same even now 2y
i.besteph I also feel the author hated people in general just because of the way she‘s portrayed all of the characters lives. 😂😂 2y
Cinfhen She was definitely a hater @I.be.Stef 😜 2y
rubyslippersreads I don‘t think I would call her biased towards men, because about 98% of the men came across as jerks. 2y
BarbaraBB @CarolynM That impact was enormous indeed and never in a supporting way. 2y
TheBookHippie She was definitely not a fan of people. 2y
LeahBergen And now I‘m sitting here and trying to think of ONE man in this entire novel that wasn‘t a complete arsehole. 🤔 Okay, maybe Polly‘s? He himself was a male stereotype, too - the “knight in shining armour” who swept in and saved her (financially and from spinsterhood). 2y
LeahBergen I‘m with you on this, @CarolynM . The men read like a checklist of things to avoid in a life partner. 😆 2y
Cupcake12 I don‘t think so but to be honest she found flaws in every character. If I had read this book if I was a young girl in the 1920/30s it would have put me off men for life. 🤣 2y
Centique @LeahBergen amen to that Leah! I feel like getting my daughter to read this as an education on bad men 😂😂 2y
BarbaraBB @LeahBergen @Cupcake12 You are both so right and it makes me laugh while it‘s seriously sad! 2y
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BarbaraBB
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Question 3 of 6
#Galentine #BestBuddyRead

AmyG I wish I had read more about Lakey. I found her fascinating but she was only at thhe beginning and the end. I wanted Kay to suceed and be happy, but alas no. I didn‘t get the Dottie and Dick thing. He was an ass. Noine was something. Her mothering style kjnd of made me laugh. I liked Polly more when she settled down at the end. I am not sure Norine‘s role as she wasn‘t one of the group. (edited) 2y
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vlwelser She spent a lot of time on Norine and practically ignored some of the girls in the actual group. 2y
squirrelbrain I wonder if Norine was included to show what happened when you got what they all wanted (a rich husband, a baby) and that it wasn‘t all ‘that‘? 2y
Cinfhen I guess I cared for Kay, but not truly. I wasn‘t able to identify or root for any of them because for me, they mostly felt identical to each other. The one who stood out was Norine because she didn‘t give two f%cks. Whether it was belonging to the Group, being a “good” parent or being a supportive spouse, she was only concerned with pleasing herself. 2y
BarbaraBB About Norine, why wasn‘t she a part of the group I wonder? She was the traditional villain in the book but could have been that too had she been one of them. She even played a bigger role in the book than some members themselves. - as @vlwelser pointed out too. I like your POV @squirrelbrain 2y
BarbaraBB Mr favorite was Dotty, the one with the diaphragm. She seemed the most sincere and authentic. Too bad she married that boring man from Arizona 😉 2y
Cinfhen I liked Dotty and her mom @BarbaraBB they both seemed somewhat genuine 2y
vlwelser My favorite character was actually the butler. And I'm not totally sure which character's story he belonged to but I found him really amusing. 2y
BarbaraBB @vlwelser I don‘t even remember a butler and read the book a week ago 🤦🏻‍♀️ 2y
Cinfhen Oh yeah, he belonged to the mother and daughter who kept a room in the Vasser club ~ that‘s the mom who was always worrying about what others would think 2y
DebinHawaii I have to take a pass on this question until I go back & finish the middle 4 chapters, which now after the discussion, I may actually do. 😉 2y
Kalalalatja I wanted to know more about Lakey, as she seemed like the mist interesting in the group, but tbh, I can‘t really remember any of characters 🤷‍♀️ 2y
i.besteph Tbh I haven‘t finished the book as of yet. I‘m in chapter 10 but so far Norine seems like the home-wrecker. She really wants to (like Dottie‘s mom said) have her cake and eat it too 🤷🏽‍♀️ These girls really could be better off. So far I like Libby Macausland. She‘s a character I can relate with, a career driven woman. (Idk how she turns out for the rest of the chapter but so far so good) 2y
JennyM I really struggled to keep all the girls straight in my head. A week on after finishing, and I‘m not really sure who is who. 😬 2y
rubyslippersreads I didn‘t like Norine. She was horrible in not only cheating with Kay‘s husband, but later pretending to be Kay‘s friend in the mental hospital debacle. I couldn‘t really feel much for any of the girls, partly because I couldn‘t keep them straight. I couldn‘t keep their mothers straight either, but I do want that lovely reading room that one mother had. 😊 2y
BarbaraBB @I.be.Stef Libby was interesting indeed. @Centique pointed out in another question that Libby might well have been the alter ego of Mary McCarthy herself, which makes her extra interesting. 2y
BarbaraBB @Kalalalatja isn‘t it weird that we finished this book a few days ago and have forgotten about the characters already?! 2y
i.besteph @BarbaraBB that‘s an interesting perspective on the character. I‘ll have to search more about it online 2y
TheBookHippie I never liked any of them I found them infuriating and I remember having to constantly look back at who was who 🤯😬 not sure what that says other than I‘ve read books that had characters I‘ve never forgotten .. 2y
LeahBergen @rubyslippersreads I must say that I kept getting the mothers mixed up, too. 😆 2y
Cupcake12 I had to write post its about each character as I couldn‘t remember who was who. I didn‘t feel a connection with any of them and felt a sense of overwhelming pity and so glad that I live now where equality and diversity are values society believes in. 2y
Centique Coming in late again! But after @CarolynM commented on how each of the group covered a certain “type” of relationship - which I think is a great point - it makes me think that Norine covers off two types - the “homewrecker” as someone else mentioned, and maybe the “laid back” or “slatternly” mother? It certainly gave her a chance to contrast w the really disciplined system of child rearing that Priss was doing. 2y
Centique I really felt for Polly, the poor one who took in her manic depressive father. She ended on a happy note - but it seemed to be entirely something she fell into, all the power for making the change in her circumstances came from her male rescuer/fiancée. 2y
CarolynM @Centique I agree about Norene as a "homewrecker" and also a different sort of mother (kind of reminded me of some of the "new age" types) but, assuming she was telling Priss the truth, she ended relationships that weren't working and actively sought new, arguably better ones. She took more control of her own life than the others. 2y
Cinfhen Once again, great insight @CarolynM @Centique 2y
Centique @CarolynM that is a really good point! 2y
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BarbaraBB
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Question 2 of 6
#Galentine #BestBuddyRead

AmyG I thought it was intersting to see with some of the mothers and daughters....the differences in the generations and yet how some things never changed. And some of the women (I forgot the names now) like the breastfeeding Mom seem d to really take to motherhood. Yet Norine...yikes. (edited) 2y
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Cinfhen I know @AmyG I can‘t separate or recall most of the girls myself...I think Priss is the one with the dr husband who bullied her into breastfeeding. She did take to motherhood but she was so anxious and I believe suffered from postpartum depression. (edited) 2y
Cinfhen I thought most of these girls were exact replicas of their mothers, even though they looked down upon that generation. They were in need of mummy‘s approval and $$$. For all their big talk they held no power or autonomy 2y
vlwelser I think it was mainly to show contrast but they actually aren't enormously different from their daughters. But some had more advantages than others. Like one girl's mother didn't go to college and talked about it on multiple occasions. There is a lot of stuff in this book. 2y
Cinfhen There is A LOT of stuff in this book @vlwelser and it was difficult to track it all. I‘m not sure each girl added something unique to the read 2y
DebinHawaii I think showing the relationships between mother & daughters (at least the ones I read & remembered) gave us insight into some of the characters. How they perceived & dealt with things & even got on in the world was influenced by their mothers in many respects—some for the better & some for the worse. 2y
squirrelbrain I agree @Cinfhen @vlwelser - I think the mothers were included to show contrast but actually ended up showing that nothing changed. The girls seemed completely in thrall to their mothers. 2y
DebinHawaii @Cinfhen I agree, we got only snippets of some of them & deeper dives on the others & it was hard to keep up. 2y
BarbaraBB Well said @squirrelbrain and @Cinfhen , I do think too that they wanted to be different from their mothers but turned out the same. 2y
TrishB @BarbaraBB I think they probably found that there still wasn‘t too many opportunities to be different and they slipped back into that life plan. 2y
BarbaraBB @TrishB That is possible but shouldn‘t they have been the ones with the opportunities since they were Vassar alumni? 2y
Cinfhen The world wasn‘t ready for career women @BarbaraBB so sad 😞 2y
Cinfhen Even with their degrees they were expected to volunteer or maybe become a teacher (something deemed womanly) 2y
TrishB I think the degree was something they did before they succumbed to the norm of women of their class. As @Cinfhen says most women had few ‘career‘ opportunities. 2y
BarbaraBB @Cinfhen You‘re right. Attending college was probably quite an achievement already! 2y
Cinfhen There was that one girl @TrishB who was a pilot/ I mean she flew her own jet but still....that‘s pretty badass 2y
TrishB @Cinfhen I think the rich always have a few outliers!! 2y
CarolynM I think the stories show just how much their husbands' attitudes affected the way each woman was able to live. It was interesting that only the one who became a literary agent (can't remember her name) was unattached and only she had career success - also interesting that she dropped out of the story just as she began her true career path. I agree the mothers were largely for contrast. 2y
BarbaraBB @CarolynM Goodmorning! I forgot about the one with the literary career. She was interesting. And ambitious. And then she disappeared out of the book. 2y
Centique @TrishB @Cinfhen I think you guys are so right. That was the kind of “lie” that I felt the book was uncovering. Graduating Vassar like they‘re this ground changing generation and yet almost all of them became trapped by role or relationship - as you said “without autonomy” @Cinfhen And I hadn‘t thought about it but yes, the mothers were all similar types. 2y
Cinfhen Ohhh, I totally forgot about her too @BarbaraBB I just remember she was kind of bitchy to Polly 2y
TrishB @CarolynM we can see why Elizabeth I never got married 😁 2y
TrishB @Centique I think that‘s really sad- all that potential! 2y
Centique @BarbaraBB @CarolynM I wondered whether Libby (writing gal) was supposed to be Mary. She became quite unlikeable I thought - and whether Mary herself might have found that happening with her group of real life friends. That‘s pure conjecture of course! 2y
TrishB @Centique the book is based on the authors experiences and her friends disowned her when published. I‘m not sure which is based on the author though. 2y
Cinfhen Interesting @Centique @TrishB I like that idea 2y
i.besteph I don‘t remember everything exactly as there was A LOT but I agree with many of the comments here. Though the mothers were introduced to display a contrast between the children, they ended up being the same personalities just in different situations. 2y
JennyM @TrishB I find that really interesting! I kind of wish I‘d know that when I‘d read it. Might have paid a bit more attention to details. 2y
JennyM Hi @Cinfhen @CarolynM 👋 Just heading out the door but I am really enjoying the discussions. It adds so much to my interpretation of the book 😘😘 2y
Cinfhen Enjoy @JennyM catch you later xxx 2y
rubyslippersreads @Cinfhen @TrishB Didn‘t Pokey also become a vet? She was hardly in the story, but she might have been the only one in the Group to “have it all”— veterinarian, pilot, wife, and mother. 2y
BarbaraBB I didn‘t know that @TrishB , that is interesting. @Centique she could have well been Libby because that character wasn‘t reall well worked out. I can imagine that McCarthy found her the least interesting character or didn‘t want too much about herself. 2y
Centique @BarbaraBB yes! That‘s a really good point. 2y
CarolynM 👋😘 @Centique @BarbaraBB @JennyM I've been for my morning walk, catching up on the discussion now🙂 Interesting about the author @TrishB Although Pokey becomes a vet it's not clear if she ever practices as one @rubyslippersreads It seems to me each character is there to represent different aspects of romantic/sexual relationships, so Dottie (sex without romance) and Libby (attempted rape) can be ignored once those incidents are done. 2y
Centique @CarolynM that‘s a really good point. It does feel like so many “types” of rotten relationships were played out. So many people I wanted to smack! 🤪 2y
Centique @CarolynM ps it‘s a public holiday here and I‘m out looking at the Americas Cup yachts with the kids - hence why I‘ve missed most of the commenting sorry @Cinfhen 2y
CarolynM @Centique That sounds lovely. Enjoy. 2y
Cupcake12 They are huge over arching themes both inextricably linked. Motherhood isn‘t glamourised which I like the idea of. Marriage was seen as the end goal and getting the ‘man‘. Each character was very different in their quest for life goals. 2y
Cinfhen Great point @Cupcake12 2y
Crazeedi Marriage and motherhood was a central theme. I think how some tried to have a career and be a liberated woman was just a grasp at independence before they became like their mothers. The one who fell in love with Dick and then later told her mother the whole episode, that mother was definitely different and not a norm. @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB 2y
Cinfhen Yes!!! Dotty and her mom had a nice relationship @Crazeedi 2y
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BarbaraBB
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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#GalsAndPals, thank you all for participating in our #Galentine weekend. We we are now starting our #BestBuddyread discussion👯‍♂️👯‍♀️👯‍♂️

This is question 1 of 6 about The Group.

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KVanRead I‘m only about 40 percent done but really loving it so far. It‘s definitely dated in terms of the casual racism but she also seems critical of that - ie with the maid with the Washington cake. It‘s an excellent snapshot of a certain class of people in a certain time and place. For the time period I think it is feminist, albeit white rich feminism 2y
TrishB I don‘t think it‘s feminist by today‘s standards, but probably then, although the author always refuted that claim. 2y
BarbaraBB I think it was quite outspoken about female sexual behavior but that‘s about it regarding feminism I think. The women mostly ended up in traditional roles, behaviour and mindset. 2y
Cuilin I think they would have considered themselves forward thinking women. They thought they were different from their mothers. However they were not able to use their education which prevented the agency they needed to be fully in control of their lives. 2y
squirrelbrain I agree with @KVanRead - it was only looking at one section of society so can‘t really be seen to be a truly feminist book. 2y
Cinfhen I agree, I wouldn‘t call this a feminist piece of literature but I feel like women today are STILL dealing with sexism, the burden of protection and the never ending pull/battle of career over motherhood. The expectations haven‘t really changed all that much, unfortunately. 2y
Simona Definitely it‘s a feminist story ... from the different times, but still. Some aspects of the story are dated, but basic problems of the women‘s roles are relevant. 2y
Cinfhen @Cuilin how sad and true, though they attended university and earned a degree most were expected to get married and make babies 2y
KVanRead @squirrelbrain I actually do think it is feminist but in its limited context. You are making me think, though...and I‘ll add that I think feminism has evolved to encompass equality for all and by that definition it‘s not truly feminist. 2y
Cinfhen Such an interesting point @squirrelbrain @KVanRead I admit to not picking up on that idea as well. 2y
TheBookHippie It‘s dated, however necessary to read to see life then. Feminist no, I do believe the author was quite adamant about that I can‘t remember where I read it at the time. It is how it was for certain women and complex for them. I heard once that they still couldn‘t really make a bad choice in this pretext because all their choices were still good. When I read this the first time that was the huge discussion topic. 2y
AmyG I think it could have ben considered feminist at the time....all the talk about sex and the diaphragm. I found the breastfeeding issues fascinating. And yes, you only see one class of people. I am just wondering if that was what the author “knew” or was comfortable with. Definitely dated....I found that amusing. (edited) 2y
squirrelbrain I don‘t know enough about the feminist movement at that time @KVanRead @Cinfhen , but I wonder if it started in the higher levels of society and trickled down? But, if feminism to them meant being different to their mothers, primarily by getting a job, then where does it leave those women who HAD to work for a living? 2y
TrishB @AmyG it was written based on the authors own experiences, so I guess that answers her knowing about that class of people. Though they all disowned her on publication of the book. (edited) 2y
TheBookHippie @TrishB great insight 2y
vlwelser I agree with @TheBookHippie this doesn't seem feminist at all. 2y
DebinHawaii I think it has feminist leanings but not truly a feminist novel for many of the reasons stated above. And as @KVanRead said, from a decidedly WASP perspective. Dated, definitely, but as @Cinfhen said, many of the issues & expectations that face have not changed that much. And great points @thebookhippie (edited) 2y
vlwelser I do think it's pretty dated but definitely an important read. 2y
BarbaraBB Agree @Cuilin , they were so progressive and had so many chances, but they didn‘t grab them 2y
JennyM I agree with all these comments. It was a book about the issues women were facing in the 30s, but it wasn‘t a book about feminism. It did feel dated to me - but I think the detail, although a bit much at times, was necessary given the time it was published 2y
CarolynM Definitely dated but still relevant because it is important for us to understand how life was lived before our own times. I don't think it's feminist in an academic sense, but any story that highlights the realities of women's lives has some claim to feminism. 2y
Cinfhen Good point @CarolynM and good morning to you and @JennyM 💚💚💚 2y
Centique I felt that McCarthy showed some of the horrible situations even the most privileged and “intelligent” women of the period found themselves in. She may have intended that only to be salacious or to show the darker side of what had seemed to be glamorous lives - but I think a feminist analysis of this now would be really illuminating. The personal manipulations and societal pressures going on! Dated - yes, the casual racism is awful. 2y
Centique @CarolynM we were writing at the same time! Good morning Carolyn 😘 2y
Cinfhen Hi @Centique I agree about the casual racism and I was a little taken aback on a few occasions when Mary McCarthy dropped really anti Semitic comments about Jews. 2y
Cinfhen It didn‘t sit well with me. 2y
TrishB @Cinfhen I find there‘s a lot of writing from this period that does that 😞 2y
Cinfhen I had the same reaction @TrishB not about Jews but the treatment of African Americans in Gone With The Wind - it was really uncomfortable to read 2y
i.besteph It doesn‘t necessarily seem like a feminist book to me. I‘m all for gender equality but there was a lack of that considering the time and era (if you will) that it was written in. Tbh I couldn‘t digest a lot of the parts in the book 😅 (edited) 2y
Centique @Cinfhen I felt awful when I read that. I‘ve only ever seen anti Semitism in books and I was shocked that it was treated as a commonplace comment in the US in the 50s. I‘m sure it must still be an issue and I obviously need to get better read about it. 😥 2y
Centique @Cinfhen re: Gone with the Wind - me too, it really unnerved me those remarks. 🤯 2y
TrishB @Cinfhen agree 😢 but good that we call it out now! 2y
Kalalalatja It definitely deals with issues related to being a woman, and in some ways that is what feminism is about, for me. However, it is a very, very narrow version of problems related to being a woman, and so dated, that I don‘t think of this as a feminist book. Forward for its time, but very WASP‘y and privileged 2y
rubyslippersreads I wouldn‘t call it feminist; the women are all well-educated, but aren‘t really expected to get much use out of their degrees, especially not after marriage. I‘m sure it was considered quite shocking at the time it was published, but it‘s not the tedious descriptions of birth control or Lakey‘s relationship that bother me. As many others said, it‘s the casual racism and anti-Semitism that I find upsetting now. (edited) 2y
rubyslippersreads @BarbaraBB @Cuilin I think society‘s expectation of them was to grab a husband. 😏 2y
Cuilin @rubyslippersreads Yes, they had no role models to show them anything different. 2y
BarbaraBB @rubyslippersreads You are probably right, it was their most important goal indeed. 2y
emilyhaldi In my opinion the book feels dated bc of how naive the girls were re: boys, sex, relationships... it‘s indicative of the time period but still very different from women of that age today. Dolly & Dick come to mind- even Kay‘s marriage. Things just weren‘t talked about in the same way back then and it left a lot of larger issues in the dark. 2y
peaknit @emilyhaldi I have only read 4 chapters but agree with you. Dick was aptly named. 2y
LeahBergen I was going to scream if I had to read the words “douche bag” one more time so yeah, it felt a little dated to me. 😂😂 2y
batsy Great question. I think it's both dated & relevant. I guess that's why second-wave feminism was about "the personal is political" because there are massive differences in personal experiences women have even within the same family/milieu/society. There can be lots of knowledge & awareness about gender rights, but behind closed doors all manner of oppressive relations still take place. So the book is feminist, in that sense? If that makes sense ? 2y
batsy @Centique Excellent point. I think this novel needs to be critiqued from an intersectional standpoint; looking at class & race. The casual entitlement & antisemitism & racism all jarring, even while we acknowledge how stifled/oppressed those same women were within their own social class or society. 2y
Cupcake12 Relevant as it provides some contemporary discussion points especially with the current pandemic and women being at hone more but dated in the sense that men were superior and help the power in every facet of life. Great question! 2y
Centique @batsy you put that so well! I was trying to parse for myself how it had feminist meaning even without the author necessarily intending it. But yes also so much there to analyse about race and class. I would love to go to a really good lecture on this book! 2y
rubyslippersreads @LeahBergen Although it could be applied to some of the male characters. 🤣 2y
Cinfhen Hahaha @LeahBergen 😂😂😂😂and agreed @emilyhaldi @peaknit 2y
Cinfhen Hi @batsy so glad you chimed in with your wonderful insight!!!! This book while not a favorite really provides for great discussion @Centique 2y
batsy @Centique @Cinfhen A lecture on this would be so interesting! #nerdingout 😁 I'm still only at only 40% in and I'm mainly struggling with her style; but it's interesting enough to keep going. A real glimpse into an era. 2y
Cinfhen There are spoilers ahead @batsy so don‘t peek at questions xx 2y
Crazeedi @BarbaraBB @Cinfhen I would call this a feminist book. The writing is definitely 60's with the references to the things important to mothers and wives 2y
Crazeedi Also women in the 30s were just coming out of the roaring 20s so they saw some liberation in certain aspects. But the pull of social norms I think made the time confusing. Along with the depression that the country was experiencing played a role in their lives I'm sure 2y
Cinfhen That‘s true @Crazeedi it was only a few years after the market crash of 29 2y
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Cupcake12
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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#weekendreads
1. Tagged -literally finished it about an hour ago.
2. Ebook every time
3. Calling all Witches (A book about all the female wizards/witches in Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts.
@rachelsbrittain

review
Cupcake12
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Pickpick

I finished it.....I may differ in opinion with some of you but I really enjoyed this book. It had its faults but I was really interested in how the women were treated during the 1920/30s. From wearing make up in labour to losing everything. Complicated in parts but a compelling read. An outspoken novel for when it was published but a classic today.
#Galentine #BestBuddyRead

Cinfhen Wonderful review!! Excited to discuss this later today!! Congrats on finishing🎉🎉🎉 2y
BarbaraBB Wow, so well planned. A lot of people loved the book, you‘re definitely not alone 🤍 2y
Cathythoughts Wasn‘t it mad ! Wearing makeup in labour .... 😳 2y
Centique I really enjoyed it too - and agree with your reasons 👍 2y
peaknit Wearing make up in labor...crazy but I get the time. No thank you however:) 2y
37 likes1 stack add5 comments
blurb
Cinfhen
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Join us today....Sunday, Feb 7 at 2pm EST 8pm CET to discuss The Group by Mary McCarthy🎉
All questions will be posted on @barbarabb page
Thanks to everyone who‘s been celebrating #GalsAndPals #BestBuddyRead with us 🎶👯‍♀️👯👯‍♀️
And tune in for our next buddy read😁

TrishB Look forward to seeing people‘s thoughts! 2y
BarbaraBB It‘s gonna be a lovely day 😀 2y
AmyG So much to say! 2y
See All 10 Comments
batsy Sadly I haven't finished yet, but I hope to catch up on the discussion later 🙂 2y
DebinHawaii I only made it to halfway yesterday & then read the last two chapters & watched the movie last night while reading them. I‘ll see if I contribute to anything! 🤷🏻‍♀️I‘d say I‘ll finish chapters 9-13 but it‘s a toss up—I have review books in line. 2y
Cinfhen Jump in @DebinHawaii I have a feeling you‘ll still be able to contribute xxx 2y
Kimberlone I ended up being busy with my SO this weekend since he is going back to work in Tuesday and I won‘t see him for 2 weeks again, so I unfortunately missed taking part in the festivities this weekend! Looking forward to the next event you organize, they are always so much fun! 2y
Cinfhen No worries @Kimberlone enjoy your together time and we‘ll tag you about our next BuddyRead 💜 2y
Librarybelle I didn‘t get a chance to start The Group yet! But, it‘s queued on my iPad, ready to go. Thanks for organizing this, @Cinfhen and @BarbaraBB ! 2y
63 likes10 comments
blurb
KVanRead
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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#Galentine Part II:

Dug out the old photo albums and here‘s me with my college “Group” back when we were froshies in 1986-87 surrounded by the names of some of the artists and songs we were “bustin‘ a move” to from ‘86-‘90. Fun trip down memory lane! #Galentine ❤️

LeahBergen This is awesome and SO my own time period. 😆😆 2y
Cinfhen Another #EightiesGirl ❤️🙌🏻but you forgot to add Madonna #LaceAndNeonLiveOnForever right @Lizpixie 😉 2y
Cinfhen These could have easily been my photos 2y
See All 14 Comments
BarbaraBB We could have been friends! My kind of girls and my kind of music 💃❤️ 2y
KVanRead @Cinfhen Yup, I totally forgot Madonna! And Eurhythmics! And INXS! So much fun music!!! 2y
Cinfhen Right...SO MANY to name.....80‘s music was THE BEST 2y
KVanRead @LeahBergen @BarbaraBB @Cinfhen Awww, I wanna have a dance party with all of you! 💃💃💃💃 2y
AlaMich Pet Shop Boys!! 💜 2y
Megabooks Lady in Red! ❤️❤️ 2y
MsMelissa Your music choices are 🔥 Love the pics 😊 2y
KVanRead @AlaMich Now I‘ve got West End Girls stuck in my head 😄 2y
KVanRead @Megabooks It was roommate‘s first dance with her then bf now husband - and yes she was wearing red.😊 2y
KVanRead @MsMelissa those were fun times and fun tunes. Love your new Litsy handle, btw. 2y
Megabooks What a wonderful origin story!! 2y
40 likes14 comments
review
Simona
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Pickpick

I liked the main themes of the story and I think that the woman‘s question/ role of that time is very well captured through those eight girls, as well as political and economic atmosphere. What I didn‘t like so much is descriptiveness in McCarthy‘s prose. Some parts are just so suffocating wordy. ⭐️⭐️⭐️✨
Sorry for the exciting cover. It‘s 1972 edition, time when the attractive cover has not been appreciated.🤷‍♀️ #bestbuddyread #galentine

BarbaraBB You really read it fast! What did you think of the ending? For me that was the best part of the book! 2y
Cinfhen Hahaha 🤣 that cover is definitely lacking a little something something 😂😂glad you enjoyed this book...I did too but thought, like you that the author meandered aimlessly at times 2y
Simona @BarbaraBB I have Slovenian translation and that definitely helps to read faster. I liked last chapter, but in general I liked the first half of the story more 🤷‍♀️ 2y
Simona @Cinfhen I assume that the book is part of collection ... 2y
58 likes4 comments
blurb
emilyhaldi
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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I love music, but my husband is the real enthusiast. He listens to just about everything, but since he worked for DefJam for years, hip hop is his true passion. ?
When we first started dating about 10 years ago he wooed me by making me playlists every few months- 1 hip hop and 1 “other". At the end of last year we made it to his 50th round of playlists for me ? He was quite excited as you can see in the title ?
#galentine #bestbuddyread

charl08 Aw, this is such a cute story. 😍 2y
emilyhaldi What‘s better than a mix tape from your crush?? 🥰💽 (damn no cassette tape emoji!) @charl08 2y
CocoReads That‘s awesome! 😍 2y
See All 16 Comments
Cinfhen That‘s awesome!!! And DefJam is serious business 🙌🏻🎶lucky u 2y
LeahBergen Aww!! 😍😍😍 2y
TrishB That‘s so cool ♥️ 2y
Reviewsbylola Lolol he‘s cute 2y
BarbaraBB It‘s über cool. Girls love DJs! The playlists look fantastic. Can you share a link or are they really intimate ??? And what does MiHo mean? Or am I asking way too many questions ?? (edited) 2y
Kalalalatja Such a cool and sweet thing to do! 👌 2y
batsy Aww! I love this 💖 2y
Tanisha_A Sooooo sweet! 😍 2y
emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB would love to share!! Definitely not too intimate 😆 I‘ll copy the link for the most recent playlist but then you can go to my husband‘s profile and check out the others too if you‘re so inclined (he would love it 😉). As for Miho... it‘s a character from Sin City and I have no idea why my husband sometimes uses it as my nickname 😂 https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4P9dwEqz3nZl7oByejsElQ?si=0kHG7wNYQm6sL_b7DKp2... 2y
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick How awesome! I love a good mixtape/playlist. 2y
BarbaraBB Thanks so much and your husband too - this is awesome!! Really really like them! ❤️❤️ 2y
Suet624 This is what is so cool about Litsy... now I get to follow your husband‘s mixes! 2y
63 likes16 comments
blurb
emilyhaldi
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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I‘m a day behind but joining in for #galantine #bestbuddyread anyways!!
Some of my favorite peeps starting at the top... my best friends at my wedding👰🏻‍♀️, my hubs and me on our last vacation exactly 1 year ago 🥲, sisters!, mom & dad, my sweet nieces, and of course little Herbie 🐶

Yearning for the days when I can travel again to see all of my friends, most of whom are still in NY ❤️

TrishB I hear you ♥️ vacations and friends I‘m really missing!! 2y
Cinfhen Ahhhhhh, THE FAM 🥰🥰🥰and awesome wedding photo 2y
Cinfhen And I really hear ya on the traveling and visiting friends 😢😢😢 and family @TrishB 2y
See All 14 Comments
MicheleinPhilly Ah, vacations - I remember them well. ☹️ 2y
AmyG Beautiful! 2y
TrishB @Cinfhen @MicheleinPhilly I find it‘s best not to think about what you‘re missing because it‘s a steady downward spiral! But I‘m definitely fed up of Groundhog Day! 2y
LeahBergen So lovely!! ❤️💗❤️💗 2y
Cinfhen Ha, TRUTH @TrishB 2y
Cathythoughts 💫💫💫 2y
Reviewsbylola Those are cute pics! 2y
BarbaraBB What a great pics! Always good to see your family and you and your friends look like they would fit in our Italian bar 😉😘 2y
CarolynM Lovely photos😍 2y
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick Great photos Emily! 2y
kspenmoll Love your photos! I hope travel happens soon- maybe summer? Fall? 2y
65 likes14 comments
blurb
DebinHawaii
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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#BestBuddyRead #galentine

Of course you know I‘m always late to the party. Also It‘s been😬a week & I‘m only 3 chapters in & still mostly want to throat punch most of these women, so we‘ll see where I end up by Sunday.🤷🏻‍♀️

I had to go with photos on my phone already because I‘m lazy. From top left & across is my Max🐱best buddy ever. We‘re slowing down after 17 years but hoping for more.🙏🏼Then my long-time SBUX work friend, my sisters ⬇️

DebinHawaii ...I‘m youngest by a few years & tallest by several inches, a more recent photo with sisters & my mom (who was truly one of my best friends💙) at my niece‘s wedding, then with my best Hawaii friend on the green couch, Max🐱, my best-best friend in LA who I talk to every day on my commute home, some of my Hawaiian “ohana at a wedding photo booth, with my best friend from junior high & high school, & ending with my little buddy.🐱He gets 3 places! (edited) 2y
Cinfhen These are FANTASTIC 💜💜💜Thanks for sharing and posting!!! And I hear ya on the throat punch 😉 2y
TrishB Lovely pics ♥️ 2y
See All 7 Comments
BarbaraBB Such great pics 😍 2y
JenReadsAlot Oh Max 😻 2y
LeahBergen Lovely pics (and Max!). 💗❤️💗❤️ 2y
rubyslippersreads Max is the best Valentine ever😻! (Besides Nicky & Sadie, of course. 😺) 2y
56 likes7 comments
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Tanisha_A
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Spending Saturday morning reading in the balcony. 🌞🌿

#galentine #bestbuddyread

Tripex Happy reading ✌🏾✌🏾 2y
Freespirit I have this book on my TBR list.. I shall be interested in your review! 2y
readordierachel Lovely. Enjoy! 2y
See All 7 Comments
Cinfhen Awesome natural sunlight ❤️Happy reading xx 2y
TrishB Enjoy ♥️ 2y
batsy Perfect 💚 2y
UwannaPublishme Perfect sunny spot! 😊👍🏻 2y
69 likes1 stack add7 comments
blurb
Centique
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Sorry this is late - I‘m always 12 hours after everyone else! (Time zones!) #galentine #bestbuddyread #galsandpals These are a few of the people who have my heart! Top row is my neighbour/friends who have become best buddies - middle row is my hub and kids along with our friends of 16 years that we usually travel with somewhere each year - bottom row, me with my brother and sisters.

CarolynM Lovely photos, Paula😍 2y
Reggie Awww, Paula, these are great! ❤️ 2y
Tanisha_A Beautiful snaps! 😍 2y
See All 13 Comments
LeahBergen Aww! These are just lovely! ❤️❤️ 2y
erzascarletbookgasm Great photos Paula ❤️ 2y
BarbaraBB Wonderful happy pics 🤍 2y
Cinfhen How lucky to live on a block full of besties!!!!! And your kids are gorgeous. They‘ve grown!!!!! 2y
TrishB Lovely pics ♥️♥️ 2y
batsy I love these! 💖 2y
Cathythoughts I love your smile ❤️ 2y
Megabooks 💜❤️💜❤️ 2y
Centique @Cathythoughts aww thank you Cathy! 2y
Centique @Cinfhen they have grown so fast! My son basically skipped size 12 clothes and went from a 10 to a 14 😳😝 2y
71 likes13 comments
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rubyslippersreads
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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One of my two “feline-tines,” Nicky. 😻 #bestbuddyread #galentine #catsoflitsy

I‘m really enjoying this book, even though I had a bit of trouble getting into it. After I finish, I‘m going to watch the movie on Amazon Prime.

mabell Love this!! 😻 2y
UwannaPublishme That typewriter looks familiar. Am I THAT old? 😆 2y
Cinfhen Gorgeous 😻😻 2y
See All 13 Comments
quietjenn i love this picture. 2y
rubyslippersreads @UwannaPublishme It was my mom‘s typewriter. I‘m guessing she bought it in the 1950s. 😊 2y
peaknit A movie?! Good to know! Your kitty looks a lot like my Kevin. 2y
LeahBergen Handsome Nicky!! 💗❤️💗❤️ 2y
Ruthiella Hello Kitty! 😻 2y
MsMelissa Nicky is a nice looking cat 🐈 2y
KVanRead Nicky is gorgeous 😻 2y
batsy 😻😻 (Good idea about the movie! I might do the same after I'm done.) 2y
Powered_By_Plants 🤩 aww she is a stunning colour 🥰 , gorgeous typewriter too! 2y
rubyslippersreads @Powered_By_Plants Thanks. Although Nicky is looks gray in photos, he‘s actually slightly a taupe color, and so is the typewriter. 😸 2y
83 likes1 stack add13 comments
blurb
KVanRead
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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These two are my ❤️

(Along with MrKVanRead and Zeus and Lord Byron of course 😊)

#galpals #galentinesbuddyread #galentine #galsandpals #bestbuddyread

BarbaraBB These pictures are great and the calendar too. Love that idea 👯‍♂️ 2y
KVanRead @BarbaraBB Thanks! I‘ve been making them since the girls were 3 and 5! Seems like yesterday but here they are all grown up😄 2y
Cinfhen Agreed @BarbaraBB I love the family calendars too 💕💕💕 2y
See All 9 Comments
KVanRead @Cinfhen 🥰 It‘s a nice way store memories, I keep all of mine like photo albums. 2y
LeahBergen Aww! ❤️❤️ 2y
MsMelissa Lovely 🥰 2y
batsy ❤️❤️ 2y
45 likes9 comments
blurb
Simona
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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My friend and I have been hanging out for 39 years now. In the picture (taken few years ago) are me and her kids, those two are my rent-a-kids and I love them dearly♥️. #galsandpals #galentine
I don‘t know if I will finished the book till Sunday for the #bestbuddyread debate ... I‘m barely on one quarter, but so far I like it very much.

BarbaraBB This is such a cute, loving picture. My kids love my best friend and this rent-a-mother adds so much to their lives, as it probably does to these two lovely kids 🤍 2y
batsy This is lovely ❤️ 2y
britt_brooke Such a great photo! 2y
See All 16 Comments
KVanRead Wonderful photo! So sweet💕 2y
UwannaPublishme Awesome photo! ❤️ 2y
LeahBergen Lovely!! ❤️❤️❤️ 2y
Reggie What a sweet photo! 2y
merelybookish Beautiful! 2y
CarolynM What a lovely photo😍 2y
Cinfhen I love this!!! I love that you‘re reading to them at the pool 🙌🏻 2y
Simona @Cinfhen Those days are gone 😔 boy is 19 yo and the girl is 14 ... but both of them are still readers 😃 2y
Simona @BarbaraBB When the boy was smaller he once said to his mother ‘what a coincidence that we have the same best friend‘. 😂 2y
BarbaraBB That is so sweet! 2y
Cinfhen No way!!! How is that possible???? But I love they are still readers ♥️♥️♥️ 2y
61 likes16 comments
review
KarenUK
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Mehso-so

Just a so-so read for me... It seemed too sprawling, and trying to do to much. I loved the setting but found characters almost not distinct enough, which took me out of the story....

#bestbuddyread @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB

BarbaraBB I felt the same. A lot of us did, I think, though there are some picks as well. Makes for a good discussion! 2y
Cinfhen Agreed, the group could have been 4 or 5 and it would have been the same story 2y
squirrelbrain I felt the same too! Gave it a pick, but should have been a so-so.... 2y
46 likes3 comments
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TrishB
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Family, friends, Mr Numan and the lovely Sansa (obviously family 🐶❤️). Missing some of these a lot!!
#galsandpals #galentinesbuddyread

Tanisha_A ❤️ 2y
Cinfhen Your kids are gorgeous 🧡🧡🧡Love that you included Mr Numan 😂😂😂 2y
Cinfhen And Sansa is looking extra handsome 🐶🐾 2y
See All 23 Comments
Kalalalatja Lovely photos ❤️ 2y
erzascarletbookgasm Beautiful ❤️ 2y
erzascarletbookgasm @Cinfhen I knew any collage of Trish would include Mr Numan 🤣. And yay! for Sansa‘s big pic! 🥰 🐶 2y
eanderson Sweet pictures!!! 2y
Cinfhen Hahahaha @erzascarletbookgasm 😆you know Trish so well xx 2y
BarbaraBB You and your family are gorgeous 💝 2y
MsMelissa Lovely photos, Trish 🥰 2y
Simona Beautiful pictures❣️ 2y
batsy Lovely pics! And Sansa is beautiful 💖 2y
TrishB @Cinfhen @erzascarletbookgasm it‘s the longest time I haven‘t seen Numan in the flesh since 1983 😱 last gig 12 October 2019. 2y
Cinfhen Hehehehe You‘re hilarious 😂 im sure he‘s missing you too, my lovely friend xxx 2y
LeahBergen What a gorgeous bunch of photos, Trish! ❤️💗❤️💗 2y
Centique What a beautiful family Trish! 2y
Reggie Aww TrishB! I don‘t know why I‘m so tickled that Numan is in here. Great pics! 2y
CarolynM Beautiful 😍 2y
TrishB @LeahBergen @Centique @CarolynM thank you friends 💜 2y
TrishB @Reggie apart from my siblings he‘s the longest relationship in my life 😉😘 2y
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick Wonderful photos Trish! 💜 2y
91 likes23 comments
blurb
jenniferw88
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Spot the odd one out! 😂😂😂

#galsandpals #galentinesbuddyread

Not sure how much of the book will be read by Sunday, but I'll try my best!

@Cinfhen @BarbaraBB

CarolynM What lovely photos😍 2y
Chrissyreadit I love this collage of photos! 2y
Cinfhen Where‘s Anne???? 🤣😂😂 I love these photos ❤️🥰 2y
See All 9 Comments
erzascarletbookgasm No prize for that huh 😂. Great pics 👍 2y
TrishB Great pics ♥️ 2y
BarbaraBB What a great pics! Love it 😍 2y
LeahBergen 💗💗💗 2y
Centique Looks like fun times and lovely people! 😍 2y
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick This looks like a great collection of memories 💙 2y
65 likes9 comments
review
Cathythoughts
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Pickpick

I was very engaged as I read about these people and the lives they led , such a ‘ privileged‘ world , or was it. What struck me was the lacking in their lives .. very little seemed sacred. I was interested in the women , the time 1930‘s , their wealthy backgrounds, their pain. Psychoanalysis was in full flight. I would like to read more Mary McCarthy.. A five star read for me.
#Galentine #BestBuddyRead

BarbaraBB Wow five stars! I‘m happy you had such a good time with it! 2y
Cathythoughts @BarbaraBB Thanks! Yes , I thought it was very good. 2y
LeahBergen I thoroughly enjoyed it, too! 2y
See All 16 Comments
Cinfhen Great review, Cathy! I enjoyed as well @LeahBergen 2y
Centique I thought it was great too Cathy! I was fascinated by their relationships with boyfriends/lovers/husbands. So many insights in one book, about such nuanced and complex women. It made me very glad to be living now - things were still very unequal even for privileged “Vassar girls” 2y
Cathythoughts @LeahBergen oh good ! Yes I was engaged right throughout 👍🏻❤️ 2y
Cathythoughts @Cinfhen Thanks Cindy 👍🏻📚Mary McCarthy is a brilliant writer. (edited) 2y
Cathythoughts @Centique Yes , ‘nuanced & complex ‘ well put Paula. I was fascinated, with all the psychoanalysis, and still everyone was heavily armoured , and the truth was mostly hidden. Not a world I would like to have lived in. 2y
erzascarletbookgasm Lovely review. Glad it‘s a great read. 2y
Tanisha_A Fab review! Looking forward to it ❤️ 2y
batsy Lovely, thoughtful review Cathy. I like that bit about psychoanalysis in full flight... These women are a product of their milieu and it seems like it would have been very hard to "break free", as it were. 2y
CarolynM Great review, Cathy❤️ 2y
Cathythoughts @erzascarletbookgasm Thanks! I hope you‘ll like it too ... 👍🏻❤️ 2y
Cathythoughts @Tanisha_A Thanks, look forward to your thoughts 💫 2y
Cathythoughts @CarolynM Thanks XXx 2y
Cathythoughts @batsy Thanks Suba ! Fascinating book 2y
75 likes3 stack adds16 comments
blurb
Cupcake12
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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I‘m getting there! Had to write notes to remind of who, where and what! #Galentine #Thegroup
It‘s taken me a while to get into, the language is somewhat dated and characters are likeable but flawed.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks ❤️❤️❤️ 2y
Cinfhen Agreed, too many girls with similar sounding names 🤪 I couldn‘t separate them either 2y
Centique Me too! I had to make a list on my phone of who was who 😂😂 2y
44 likes3 comments
review
CarolynM
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Mehso-so

What a soap opera this book is! The social mores were fascinating (and such a contrast with those of 1930's Britain the #FurrowedMiddlebrowGang have been enjoying) but I can't say I particularly liked or felt sympathy for any of the characters (except the babies). I suppose the women's backgrounds made it difficult for them to be anything but what they were. The men were just detestable. Looking forward to discussing.
#Galentine #BestBuddyRead

Cinfhen Yay!!! I was patiently awaiting your review. Wonderful & insightful, as always. 2y
BarbaraBB I expected a so-so from you too! 2y
See All 18 Comments
batsy Nice review! I'm only at Chapter 4, but I was hoping a non-detestable man shows up at some point. I'm guessing not 😩 2y
Simona @BarbaraBB @Cinfhen I was curious, because of all the reviews and I placed a hold ... My library copy is available - after a few days of searching, they found it in storage place ... can you please tag me in your posts? 2y
Cinfhen Yay 🧡🧡🧡of course @Simona tagging @BarbaraBB to add you to the list 😀 2y
BarbaraBB Will do! @Simona @Cinfhen (edited) 2y
Cathythoughts Great review! I was just thinking the same ... it‘s so different to the Furrowed Middle Brow experience. I finished this one too , The Group .. must post up a review, it was a pick for me , I was fascinated by it all. 2y
CarolynM @Cinfhen Thank you. ? I think I should have said "melodrama" rather than "soap opera"? There's LOTS to discuss! 2y
CarolynM @BarbaraBB I guess I could have gone for pick...😬 It was a bit heavy-handed, don't you think? 2y
CarolynM @batsy Thank you😘 Some are worse than others😬 (edited) 2y
CarolynM @Cathythoughts The Ursula Orange books all addressed extramarital sex in one way or another, but the tone was so very different. Also the interaction between the sexes felt quite different. Do you think the English men were nicer or the English women were more compliant? @LeahBergen want to add your 2 cents? 2y
CarolynM @Cathythoughts Also, thank you😘 2y
LeahBergen @CarolynM @Cathythoughts The Furrowed Middlebrow books have SUCH a different tone, don‘t they? I don‘t know... I can‘t see British men being any nicer, can you? Perhaps it has something to do with the influx of youth who chose New York City as their destination of choice at that time. They seemed so much more opinionated, ultra-cerebral and out for themselves at all costs. A lot more than the pre and post war youth of England. But who knows 😆 (edited) 2y
CarolynM @LeahBergen I like your point about the attitude of the youth who gravitated to NY then. There were real opportunities for them to "get on" so ambition was often rewarded quickly leading to arrogance in the successful & resentment in the less successful. On the other hand I feel like Britain's middle class youth expected to have to wait their turn for success. Also, the FMB people while very comfortable, thank you, we're not rich like The Group. (edited) 2y
LeahBergen Yes, you are so correct there! I hadn‘t thought of that. The Group had a few members who were ultra rich at that time (and not even affected by the Depression). 2y
Cathythoughts @Leahbergen Such different worlds, Carolyn. Yes , cerebral is the word that comes to me too Leah, for The Group. Furrowed Middle brow is so different... grounded in nature and community. I‘m not so sure the men were any nicer .. but I think the women had a more solid sense of themselves . There was goodness & kindness in Middlebrow , Button , What a lovely woman. Extramarital sex is a minefield... so I‘ll think on about that before I comment 🤔 (edited) 2y
68 likes18 comments
review
TrishB
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Bailedbailed

Yes, I‘m sorry, but I can do no more!!
I‘m struggling at 25% and I can‘t wait for 75% for something to happen.
I shall look forward to discussion to see what I missed. I did just read plot summary online though.
I did also vote for this one so assume full responsibility.

Cinfhen Hahah 😆sometimes you gotta know when to call it quits xx 2y
TrishB @Cinfhen that‘s what I thought 😘😘 2y
LeahBergen I love how polarizing this book has been for this buddy read!! 😆 I‘m actually enjoying it. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2y
See All 20 Comments
LeahBergen And if you‘re not liking it at the 25% point, you did the right thing by bailing. 😘 2y
TrishB @LeahBergen good points 👍🏻😁 2y
BarbaraBB I wanted to bail too but since I‘m co-hosting I felt I couldn‘t. In the end I was glad I finished it though. But I totally understand you! 2y
Megabooks I endorse bailing! Same as @LeahBergen . You‘ve given it a good chance. 💜 2y
Oryx I decided to bail at 12%. Glad it's not just me. 2y
TrishB @BarbaraBB which is why I should definitely never host buddy reads!! 2y
TrishB @Megabooks forcing reading just makes me unhappy!! 2y
TrishB @Oryx phew... 2y
lynneamch I bailed on the book but then watched the 1966 movie on Amazon Prime. Hal Holbrook (who died yesterday) starred in it along with Candace Bergen and others. I thought the movie was really good. @Oryx 2y
Oryx @lynneamch thanks! I might like that better 😀 2y
BarbaraBB @TrishB Haha! And I didn‘t even vote for it 🤣 2y
batsy I voted for it, too! 😆 2y
Cathythoughts On dear 😬.... I really ‘enjoyed‘ it ... I‘d say I‘ll be in the minority 2y
TrishB @batsy 😂😂 2y
TrishB @Cathythoughts I think others are enjoying too 😁 2y
erzascarletbookgasm Oh. What mixed reviews. I haven‘t read it. My library hold just came in today, I don‘t think I can finish in two days 😂. Maybe I‘ll skim read it. 2y
TrishB @erzascarletbookgasm very different views ♥️ 2y
102 likes20 comments
review
emilyhaldi
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Mehso-so

Feelings are very mixed on this one 🥴
I loved the atmosphere of 1930‘s NYC and found some of the character storylines fun to follow... but boy were there a LOT!
I skimmed through much of the second half, but the ending almost made me wish I hadn‘t 😆 Eager to discuss this weekend!
#galentine #bestbuddyread

BarbaraBB I felt the same. It suddenly made sense but I had a hard time getting there! 2y
TheBookHippie I read this quite a long time ago I remember feeling that way and went back and reread the second part. Enjoy your discussion! Also I kept notes while reading ! BHAHAHA. 2y
Cinfhen Seems like everyone had a similar reading experience ~ discussion should be really good 2y
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Cinfhen Do you want us to tag you for discussion @TheBookHippie ??? 2y
TheBookHippie @Cinfhen ha sure I‘d love to see what you guys thought ! (edited) 2y
Kalalalatja Echoing @BarbaraBB ☝️ 2y
Cinfhen Great @TheBookHippie I‘m tagging @BarbaraBB so she can add you to the list 💜 2y
Reviewsbylola I never got around to this one. 🤷🏼‍♀️ 2y
emilyhaldi @Reviewsbylola you didn‘t miss much IMO 😉 2y
67 likes1 stack add9 comments
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peaknit
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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On the struggle bus just two chapters in but I really look forward to the chat on #galentine weekend for the #bestbuddyread so I will keep at it. @Cinfhen and @BarbaraBB

BarbaraBB I struggled for half of the book, so much information, but there is not really the need to keep track of who is who (which is also a weakness of the book because why introduce so many characters and don‘t work them out?). Going with the flow works best I think. You still won‘t miss when things start really coming together and get interesting! 2y
batsy I'm currently also on the struggle bus 3 chapters in 😬 2y
Cinfhen Follow @BarbaraBB advice @peaknit @batsy long rambling paragraphs definitely get weighty but if you can move through it starts to pick up 2y
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batsy @Cinfhen I will! 🙂 I think I've been unable to properly set aside a chunk of time to get into it. It feels like a book that I need to immerse myself in to get in the flow. @BarbaraBB 2y
TrishB @batsy @peaknit I‘m on that bus too! I‘m looking at it this morning with no desire to pick it up! (edited) 2y
Cinfhen Hahaha @TrishB I wasn‘t sure you‘d warm to these American gals 😄😂 2y
TrishB @Cinfhen I can‘t pick it up this morning 😞 whether I do again remains to be seen! 2y
peaknit @BarbaraBB thank you for the tip because I already was worried as I was not following who was who. @Cinfhen I will keep at it, especially if it gets better. The long paragraphs are getting me, I try to finish chapters and the long ramble intimidates me, I need a breath lol! 2y
peaknit @batsy @TrishB I am sorry not sorry you are struggling too, makes me feel a little better to struggle with book buddies.:) 2y
TrishB A trouble shared 😁 2y
26 likes10 comments
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LeahBergen
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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My “currently reading” stack.

#BestBuddyRead

BarbaraBB You‘re copy looks even bigger than mine 🤣 2y
Cinfhen Good luck, Leah. I‘m curious to hear your thoughts 2y
catebutler Excellent choices! I was just looking at my copy of The Group. That chunky book glares at me quite often! 😂 2y
Cathythoughts Lovely picture ❤️ 2y
89 likes5 comments
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TrishB
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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I‘m lost down the rabbit hole of reading about the author!!

BarbaraBB That‘s interesting! You can tell us all about it! 2y
TrishB @BarbaraBB it may be my contribution! 2y
Ruthiella It‘s been many years since I read it, but I liked her Memories of a Catholic Girlhood - NF about her childhood. 2y
LeahBergen Oh, that‘s exciting! I‘ll hold off doing the same until I finish the book. 👍🏻 2y
batsy Me too 😁 @LeahBergen Particularly interesting since she was best friends with one of our #nyrbbookclub authors, Elizabeth Hardwick! 2y
88 likes1 stack add5 comments
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TrishB
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Started this morning. Only 9%. That basically means only 9%!!! That bodes well.

Crazeedi I'm at 63% 2y
TrishB @Crazeedi are you enjoying? 2y
Cupcake12 Five chapters in...had to make notes on post its! 2y
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Crazeedi @TrishB yes and no, parts have me interested, then author kinda wanders. But I'm figuring out each chapter focuses on one girl. Did you see there is a movie from 60s on amazon prime? I might watch 2y
batsy I'm reading the digital book too. It feels like I'm reading and reading and not making much progress 😅 not sure why it feels that way. 2y
TrishB @Cupcake12 I probably should have done that! 2y
TrishB @Crazeedi I don‘t watch much telly! 2y
TrishB @batsy the paragraphs are very dense and the chapters very long!! Will try and get a bit more focused tonight! 2y
Crazeedi @TrishB neither do I! I rarely watch, but I thought I might (probably not) 2y
LeahBergen I‘m about halfway through and find that I‘m enjoying it more when I read it in big gulps. (edited) 2y
TrishB @LeahBergen I‘m keeping my fingers crossed 🤞🏻 2y
92 likes11 comments
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Crazeedi
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Halfway through this book, very avant garde for the time it was written!
Problem though I kept falling asleep because I was sitting in my sunroom keeping warm by the woodstove!
#Galentine #BestBuddyRead @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB

lynneamch About 1/3 through I was losing interest, so decided to watch the 1966 movie on Amazon Prime, with lots of well-known actors (Candace Bergan, Hal Holbrook, others). It seemed to follow the book very closely. Sex was less explicit but much of the dialogue was identical. It got me interested again, so am skimming the book now and enjoying it more. 2y
BarbaraBB That woodstove sounds wonderful 😍 2y
Cinfhen Ohhh, cool that you watched the film @lynneamch 2y
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Cathythoughts Movie sounds good too 👍🏻 2y
Crazeedi @lynneamch oohh theres a movie?? I'm going to look for it!! 2y
Crazeedi @BarbaraBB it is! But a bit too comfortable sometimes! 2y
61 likes6 comments
review
Kalalalatja
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Mehso-so

Considering the time this was published, I‘m pretty impressed by what McCarthy did. She tackled subjects which must have been scandalous at the time. However, it could have been a tighter, more focused book, if she had focused on fewer characters. The subtle humour and wit got lost in all the details, and I‘m left feeling #MoreMehThanYeah

I‘m excited for the discussion next weekend!

#GalsAndPals #Galentine #BuddyRead

BookNAround I felt that way when I read it too. 2y
Cathythoughts Almost finished... it‘s a winner for me .. should be interesting discussion 👍🏻😘 2y
squirrelbrain The more I reflect on it, the more I think I should have gone with a so-so rather than a pick. I agree with your review entirely. 2y
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MicheleinPhilly I started reading this ages ago after seeing it on Gilmore Girls but got bored about halfway through and never picked it back up. 2y
BarbaraBB We felt the same indeed! 2y
Cinfhen It worked for me but it certainly dragged. Definitely lots to discuss 2y
emilyhaldi I‘m only a third of the way through but wholeheartedly agree!! 2y
74 likes7 comments
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jenniferw88
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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#weeklyforecast @Cinfhen
Tagged book is priority - for some reason I thought #galsandpals was the weekend of 14th! 😂

Cinfhen Ha, can‘t imagine why you‘d think that 😂😂😘happy you‘re joining us 2y
BarbaraBB I honestly can‘t why it isn‘t 😂 2y
67 likes2 comments
review
BarbaraBB
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Mehso-so

The last few chapters saved this book for me. It mostly felt very scattered, I still don‘t see why the story couldn‘t focus on a few less characters instead of the whole group. Some of the girls were interesting but a lot of pages dealt witch stuff I didn‘t care for. Yet the ending made sense. Suddenly the pieces fell into place. And the group.
There is a lot to discuss I‘m sure. Looking forward to our #Galentine weekend and #Bestbuddyread 👯‍♀️

Kalalalatja I just finished, and your review captures how I feel exactly 2y
BarbaraBB @Kalalalatja I‘m glad I‘m not the only one not loving it! Looking out for your review! 2y
REPollock I felt like it‘s a book my mother (who is of the generation of the protagonists) would love but it‘s hard for me to invest in. 2y
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TrishB Interesting 👍🏻 I‘ll get in with it this week. The discussions are always great. 2y
Simona Those reviews makes me curious, so now I‘m waiting for the library holds ... 2y
Cinfhen Another beautiful photo and excellent review 🧡🧡🧡I‘m going to respond to your email later xxx 2y
BarbaraBB @Simona Hopefully it‘ll be there soon! 2y
Cupcake12 I‘m two chapters in x 2y
BarbaraBB @Cupcake12 Those first are rather shocking for its time don‘t you think? 2y
Simona 🤞 2y
Suet624 I just received my copy. 😁 2y
peaknit @BarbaraBB I am two chapters in as well and yes, those first two are shockers for the time indeed!! 2y
peaknit And I hope it gets better, the beginning is a struggle. 2y
BarbaraBB @peaknit I just saw your post about the book. It does get better. It‘s just way too long if you ask me! 2y
78 likes1 stack add14 comments
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Centique
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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#bestbuddyread #galentine Reading in the sun on this side of the world ☀️😍👍

Ruthiella Beautiful! 😎 2y
Cathythoughts The sun ☀️ ( I remember the sun 🌞... 😂havnt seen it for a few days though .. Looks beautiful where you are. I wish our country would follow your excellent Covid example.. we‘re still floundering around .. and will need to go zero covid eventually anyway. I wish we just did it now. I‘m really enjoying this book 2y
Centique @Cathythoughts Yes the sun is beautiful at the moment. Warm but not too hot ☀️ I hope things improve in Ireland. We thought our govt was a bit ridiculous when they put us into a very strict lockdown when we just had 12 cases or so. In hindsight it was a good move but nobody knew for sure at the time. Since then closed borders have been the main thing. We just got very lucky last week when a cpl of cases crept out from quarantine ⬇️ (edited) 2y
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Centique But it could still go wrong at any time. Just looking forward to getting vaccines to all the places that need them - and thank god for all those hard working scientists (and doctors and nurses etc) 💕💕 2y
BarbaraBB I can‘t imagine what it would be like to see palm trees out of my window all year long 😍 (edited) 2y
Centique @BarbaraBB meanwhile I dream of European architecture and history! Such different views out our windows 💕 These palms are called cabbage trees - they‘re native trees and they grow all over the place. We have to pick up big bundles of their long spiky leaves every couple of weeks. 😝 2y
BarbaraBB They are wonderful! 2y
94 likes1 stack add7 comments
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Cupcake12
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Time to start this one...
#galentine #BestBuddyRead

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Deblovestoread
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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What a great way to end what has seemed like the longest month ever. I have a lot of others things to accomplish but will be joining in when I can. I am going to shoot for 10 hours focusing on the tagged book for #bestbuddyread.

Thanks Andrew for the #20in4 readathon!

ju.ca.no I can only second this being the longest month EVER😱 2y
33 likes1 comment
review
squirrelbrain
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Pickpick

At first I found this book rather irritating - a group of privileged girls in thrall to what ‘Mumsy‘ would think. After a while though I started to get the spiky humour and to understand the girls‘ feelings and motivations.

It did feel a bit bloated in places but overall a good read and I‘m looking forward to our discussions over the #galentine weekend - there‘s a lot to talk about! #bestbuddyread

Cathythoughts Great review Helen ! I‘m nearly finished... I‘m glued to it .. a great read for me 2y
BarbaraBB I still need to get to the point you describe. At this moment I keep wondering what‘s the point 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2y
squirrelbrain How far in are you @BarbaraBB ? It was actually a so-so for me until around 75% in. Even then there wasn‘t a ‘revelation‘ - just me understanding it a bit more. 2y
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BarbaraBB About 60% 2y
JennyM Lovely review. I think we had a very similar experience with this one. And I agree @BarbaraBB that from a modern reader‘s perspective, it could have done with a blooming good edit! But for the era it was published in, that level of detail was probably necessary and almost an education in itself! Keeping that in mind changed my so-so to a pick. But there were definitely times it felt too heavy and I didn‘t fancy reading it 2y
Cinfhen Agreed, the author meandered and for me it was difficult to separate the Group at times but in the end I was glad I read the story @JennyM @BarbaraBB @Cathythoughts @squirrelbrain 2y
BarbaraBB @JennyM You‘re right about that and I should keep that in mind 🤍 2y
squirrelbrain Sounds like we had a really similar experience @JennyM - there were times when I didn‘t want to pick it up either, and even times when I wanted to bail, except I *never* bail on books! I also tend to be over generous so went ‘up‘ to a pick rather than ‘down‘ to a so-so. 2y
78 likes8 comments