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Wild Girls    by Erica Abeel order for
Wild Girls
by Erica Abeel
Order:  USA  Can
Texas Review, 2016 (2016)
* *   Reviewed by Jessica Maguire

What happens when three women, Brett, Julia, and Audrey, rebel against the social norms of American women during the nineteen fifties, sixties, and beyond? The result is an interesting novel that blends fact and fiction while exploring this question as well as the consequences faced by these women as they buck traditional societal roles.

I enjoyed the beginning chapters, focusing on the mid-fifties and Brett, Julia, and Audrey's time at a prestigious women-only college. It's intelligently written and rather humorous, and I felt captivated and drawn in by these ladies. I was laughing out loud as Brett claimed that the boys from the neighboring men's college 'had the sex appeal of a lawn gnome.'

The women, make very different life path choices, yet remain friends. Brett, on her path to being a writer, becomes involved with the Beat Movement and spends time in Paris. Julia chooses the more acceptable social norm of marriage and family, while Audrey also becomes a novelist and publishes a series on working girls in a big city.

Of course, there's a price that each woman pays for her unconventional life. Though I enjoyed the college days of the women, I found myself tiring of the story as it progressed. The story begins in 1954 and takes the reader all the way up to 1998. Over forty years in one sitting can be a bit tedious for a reader and I feel the novel would have had more impact had it ended sooner. I prefer a novel that leaves some aspects unresolved, allowing my imagination to take over and draw my own conclusion.

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