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Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9780349018058

Price: £16.99

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‘Juicy, shocking, witty, and almost continually brilliant’ COSMOPOLITAN

‘A brilliant novel: honest, engaging and sharp as a tack’ SARAH WATERS

‘Lively, vivid and exceedingly entertaining’ SUNDAY TIMES

This groundbreaking novel celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2023. One of the first novels to frankly depict friendship, sex and women’s lives. It was a revelation and continues to inspire today.


Mary McCarthy’s most celebrated novel portrays the lives and aspirations of eight Vassar graduates. ‘The group’ meet in New York following graduation to attend the wedding of one of their friends – and reconvene seven years later at her funeral. The women, fresh from college, vowed not to become stuffy and frightened like their parents, but to lead fulfilling, emancipated lives. Who really achieved this – and what sacrifices and compromises had to be made?

‘McCarthy’s characters confront many of the same issues as their modern counterparts: sex and contraception, career and marriage, love and lust, fidelity to one’s husband versus loyalty to one’s friends and the attempt to carve out a place for oneself unconstrained by the gender limitations of previous generations. Its continuing relevance is one of the book’s most extraordinary attributes’ ELIZABETH DAY, GUARDIAN

Virago Modern Classics