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The New Girls

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  421 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews

The New Girls is a resonant, engrossing novel about five girls during their formative prep-school years in the tumultuous mid-sixties. Into their reality of first-class trips to Europe, resort vacations, and deb parties enter the Vietnam War, the women's movement, and the sexual revolution. As the old traditions collide with the new society, the girls lose their innocence

Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 3rd 2005 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 1979)
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Feb 21, 2007 Holly rated it it was amazing
I LOVE, LOVE this book. It is a coming of age story about four girls at a fictional Miss Porters in the 1960's. It is chock full of deb balls and all things WASPY. If you ever attended boarding school (or know people who did) you will adore.
Manik Sukoco
Dec 30, 2015 Manik Sukoco rated it liked it
Entertaining read if flawed. It's chief problem is that it throws it's net too wide - by attempting to cover the formative years of 5 girls in only 347 pages, I finished the novel feeling as though I really didn't know any of them too well. One example: One of the girls, Lisa, suffers from anorexia during her first year at the school. The author goes into adequate detail explaining how Lisa suffered from the disease, but little else. By the Lisa's second year, she has recovered and is no longer ...more
May 01, 2010 Amy rated it really liked it
I finished this book in the middle of the night and wanted to know how the rest of their lives played out. I wanted a book about each of the women covering the Miss Pratt's School years in more detail, I wanted to know...I guess the only word is "more". Somehow each of these women became so real that I actually felt I had graduated with them and knew them well. This is one of those rare books that almost begs to be read again to see how you missed the clues the first time.
Jul 21, 2009 Allison rated it it was amazing
This book is sweet-and sometimes saucy--and has remained one of those books that I go back to every few years. There's just something about the characters that stick with me.
Aug 15, 2009 Marti rated it liked it
an early work by Gutcheon. She does better than most in capturing the prep school life and teenage angst.
Jun 07, 2010 Joanne rated it liked it
Liked this book, but thought I would love it given the topic, time era and enjoying Leeway Cottage. I read it thinking it was the girls’ version of “The Class” which I loved, but it lacked the development of the characters and their lives. The two books were a similar story line – following a group of similar but diverse classmates up to a reunion (The Class /1958 Harvard to their 25th reunion in 1983 – New Girls / 1963 Miss Pratt’s a spoof on Miss Porter’s in Farmington, CT to their 15th reunio ...more
Die grundsätzliche Ausgangssituation von "Ein Käfig voller Mädchen" ist sehr amüsant und unterhaltsam – hauptsächlich wegen der mir eher unbekannten Generation und ihren damaligen Gepflogenheiten -, und im Vergleich dazu sind die weiteren Erlebnisse der Mädchen eher weniger einprägsam und die Story selbst relativ eintönig, vor allem hinsichtlich der weiteren Lebenswege der Freundinnen. Während die Ereignisse aus der Schulzeit mitunter lustig, spannend und teilweise auch erschreckend zugleich sin ...more
Mar 31, 2008 Mary rated it it was ok
Shelves: bookclub
Overall, the book club did not like this book. I don't think many people could relate to the characters, or just didn't have any empathy for them. They did seem to be very distinct or memorable. It could just be that we're so far removed from them in time and circumstances. I would get caught up in one story, then it was time to switch to another girl's sub-plot and it just didn't flow well for me.
Nov 06, 2008 Faith rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
This is the story of four friends and what happens to them during and after high school. It is also the story of a school that is trying to hold onto the traditions of fifty years ago.
This is a classic coming of age story that looks at four girls at a turning point of their lives and a major turning point in America.
Aug 11, 2013 Lesley rated it it was amazing
I found this in the library when I was in about the 6th grade and immediately got swept up in these lives I had no concept of; I was a poor kid in a California public school who had never even known about prep schools or the kinds of people that inhabit them. I pick it up every couple of years to re-read it, and it never gets old for me.
Mar 13, 2011 Brooke rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-books
This novel is both an eye-opening social commentary and engrossing character study. The prep school attitudes and feminine social norms of the 1960s is an exciting history lesson and the ladies who help tell the story become your best friends for these few pages. Literally could not put this book down - the writing is marvelous.
Penny Emerson
May 14, 2014 Penny Emerson rated it really liked it
Interesting and easy read about girls going to A fictional version of Miss Porters school for 4 years together. It gives some insight into their later years (15 years after graduation, to be exact) but left me wanting more. Great read for any fans of Mad Men out there!
Jun 03, 2012 Cori rated it really liked it
I think appreciate this book more entering my 40s than had I read this when I was younger. A lovely coming of age novel, capturing the excitement of growing up, the joy of remembering with friends as well as the sadness that past times can never truly be entered again.
Apr 21, 2011 Snarky rated it liked it
I liked it. It wasn't like every other prep school story, revolving heavily around sex, drugs, and alcohol. It had experimentation, but that's all it was.

There were a couple unbelievable scenes in there that I would have edited out, but other than that, it was an enjoyable read.
Jan 08, 2011 Ginna rated it really liked it
I re-read this every few years as it was written by one of my late aunt's closest friends and depicts their time at Miss Porter's (Farmington) and their life in Sewickley,PA. Comfort food in book form!!!!
Jan 17, 2009 Deborah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chick-lit, fiction
Five girls become friends at a prep school in the early 60's. They meet up at a reunion 15 years later.
Loved the book.
Jul 05, 2012 PreppyPrincess rated it really liked it
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this one, it is the tale of four friends at a private girls school, not dissimilar to Miss Porter's. Very, very good.
Aug 07, 2014 Linda rated it liked it
An interesting snapshot of boarding school life in the 60's and of five girls' growing up experiences.
Aug 09, 2012 Gina rated it liked it
I would probably give this book 2 1/2 stars. It was moderately interesting, but I didn't really feel a great connection with any of the characters.
Lisa M
Feb 10, 2016 Lisa M rated it liked it
An ok read. Too many characters to follow. Might have flowed better with less characters with more development. Brought back some memories of Catholic schools in the '60s.
Lisa McGowan
Feb 02, 2016 Lisa McGowan rated it it was amazing
Especially interesting because she was the girl who testified against Warren Jeffs. A very interesting look at living in a polygamist family, which is ruled by terror and the whims of the prophet.
Sep 26, 2011 Pat rated it liked it
Gutcheon does a good job exploring the lives of a group of young women entering prep school in the mid-sixties, but then she apparently lived that life.
May 01, 2011 Yamira rated it it was amazing
I love this book about 5 girls during their prep school. The way they behave it reminds me great moments with my school friends. Great Novel.
Nov 25, 2011 Libby rated it liked it
Shelves: lite
totally readable and totally overstates its role as social critique. did not need to be as long as it is.
Yaffa Shira
Nov 01, 2010 Yaffa Shira rated it liked it
so far good
i think it really could be 3.5 stars. I enjoyed reading about the girls in private boarding school
Eve Hall
Eve Hall rated it really liked it
May 16, 2016
Alexandra rated it liked it
Sep 06, 2013
Lisa Judy
Lisa Judy rated it liked it
Oct 21, 2015
Lindsey rated it really liked it
Apr 21, 2008
Shannon The Show Stopper
Shannon The Show Stopper rated it really liked it
Jan 21, 2013
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Beth Gutcheon grew up in western Pennsylvania. She was educated at Harvard where she took an honors BA in English literature. She has spent most of her adult life in New York City, except for sojourns in San Francisco and on the coast of Maine. In 1978, she wrote the narration for a feature-length documentary on the Kirov ballet school, The Children of Theatre Street, which was nominated for an Ac ...more
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