commencementLast year I read the book Maine, by J. Courtney Sullivan and thought it was okay.  Recently I read a review of her new book that mentioned that Maine didn’t come close to her book Commencement.  Since Commencement is set near where I live, I thought I would give it a try.  

This book was very different from Maine.  It starts off as a female bonding book.  Four former housemates from Smith College meeting up again after years apart.  For a good portion of the book it maintains that female friendship angle.  Then, part way through the book it changes quite suddenly when one of the friends disappears.

I don’t want to ruin the ending by revealing all of the twists.   I will say that the characters were well developed.  The situations were believable (perhaps that’s because I know the town) and the drama was compelling.  I think the twists were supposed to be mysterious, but I found them predictable, given the build up.

Would I recommend this book?  Not if you have gentle sensibilities or if you like your female friendship dramas cut and dried.  If you’re looking for something more complex (or want a glimpse inside Smith), pick up this book.


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