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Monday, October 15, 2012

The Red Book

I love a good reunion tale. I was so excited about Deborah Copaken Kogan's The Red Book that when the library notified me that it was available I ran there.  Well, maybe I didn't run per se because I didn't want to be one of those people I make fun of for running in the city.  Moving on...

Every five years, just prior to the reunion, Harvard releases their alumni book known to all as simply the red book.  It contains contact information, spousal and occupation information, and three to five paragraphs of biographical information written by the alumna.  Just prior to their 20th reunion, four friends submit their entries.  When they come together for the reunion their truths are slowly revealed: unraveling relationships, grief of epic proportions, financial problems, children growing up and running amok.  As they wind their way through the weekend, these ladies will make choices that will irrevocably alter their lives.

This was a fantastic read for my week.  I needed something that had nothing to do with education or psychology (although, arguably, this book is all about the psychology of Jane, Clover, Addison, and Mia).  I loved the intricacy that Kogan lent to these ladies' lives.  It was hard to not envision myself with them at the reunion as one of their group or even as just a fly on the wall.  Kogan has written with such pathos and care for her characters and I loved every second of reading this book.  It was so lovely to get lost in the lives of these woman who are still so young yet are twenty years away from youth.

I had read good things about this book, but I am so thankful that I picked it up myself.  I was able to live for just a little while in Hollywood privilege with Mia, in arrested development with Addison, in desperation with Clover, and in heartache with Jane.

It was a great ride.

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