The Radcliffe Ladies' Reading Club The Radcliffe Ladies' Reading Club

The Radcliffe Ladies' Reading Club

A Novel

    • 4.2 • 33 Ratings
    • $9.99
    • $9.99

Publisher Description

For readers of Martha Hall Kelly and Beatriz Williams, "a story of female freedom and constraints that doesn’t shy away from the trauma—and joy—that faced U.S. women"(Kirkus) during a pivotal period in American history.

Literature impacts us all uniquely — but also unites us.

Massachusetts, 1954. Alice Campbell escapes halfway across the country and finds herself in front of a derelict building tucked among the cobblestone streets of Cambridge, and she turns that sad little shop into the charming bookstore of her dreams.

Tess, Caroline, Evie, and Merritt become fast friends in the sanctuary of Alice’s monthly reading club at The Cambridge Bookshop, where they escape the pressures of being newly independent college women in a world that seems to want to keep them in the kitchen. But they each embody very different personalities, and when a member of the group finds herself shattered, everything they know about each other—and themselves—will be called into question.

A heart-wrenching, inspiring, extraordinary love letter to books set against the backdrop of one of the most pivotal periods in American history, The Radcliffe Ladies’ Reading Club explores how women forge their own paths, regardless of what society expects of them, and illuminates the importance of literature and the vital conversations it sparks.

Fiction & Literature
June 6
Sourcebooks, Inc.

Customer Reviews

akbaird ,

A Great Book Club Pick!

After Alice’s husband died, she decided to move from Chicago to Boston, where she found an apartment and opened a bookshop, The Cambridge Bookshop! Alice started a book club where they read classics.

Tess, Evie, Caroline and Merritt all attended Radcliffe College. They became friends as they lived in the same dorm and had classes together. Tess convinced them to join the book club at The Cambridge Book shop even though they seemed skeptical at first.

These ladies supported each other, took each other out of their comfort zones with their differing opinions, gave each other advice, and encouraged each other to do things they might not have done on their own. After all, they each had a different upbringing and social class. Caroline, the wealthiest, had felt more accepted by these friends than any past friendship.

With each book read at the book club, Alice challenged them to think about topics such as men, relationships, money, social class, in a way that they might have not thought about before. This challenged their ideals and expanded their horizons. When a crisis arises for Caroline, their friendship is put to the test. Will they remain friends? Can they support Caroline in the way she needs or does it make it worse?

This book has great character development that highlights what it was like to be a college student during the mid 1950’s at Radcliffe College. The societal pressures/expectations, social class, and friendships played a role in these ladies’ college experience. It also played a role in how they reacted and handled a tragic situation. I loved Alice’s character, where she was not only a support to the ladies, but opened their minds to think differently through books. It helped them to grow and handle new situations.

A well researched and well told story that will bring out all kinds of emotions, but will leave you feeling satisfied in the end. A great book for book clubs as it will lead to many great discussions.

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