The Best of Everything
This is the story of four women who work for Fabian Publishing in New York in the early '50s. Ostensibly, Caroline is the smart ambitious one who wants to be an editor, April is the naive country girl who comes to the big city and ...more
I am shocked this was written in the 50's. I am also annoyed I did not read this book when I lived in NY. I woke up early on a sunday (around 6am) and finished it.
This is chick lit before there was chick lit. Better than Valley of the Dolls, better than Candace Bushnell (although I don't like her stuff that m ...more
The tension in this scene, ostensibly, lies between professional ambition and marital aspiration: "The Best of Everything" was published in 1958, and Jaffe's unm ...more
It’s an old book, the author - a young girl when it was written - is now dead, consequently, it's somewhat dated, but it’s age shows in the content, the attitudes and mores, ...more
“The Best of Everything” starts well and is, at first, a very engaging read. The first few chapters introduce us to the character of Caroline Bender and her first weeks as a typist at Fabian publishing. Gradually, the other three main female characters appear, as well as a host of other ‘extras’: colleagues, friends, terrible dates, boyfriends and families. However, of the four main female characters, it really is Caroline who gets the most ‘screen time’. The oth ...more
Filled with laugh out loud moments, shocking moments, moments that make you hate these girls (because they make the ...more
By Rona Jaffe
This is most definitely one of the golden oldies!!! Written in 1958 it was part of the vanguard that changed contemporary fiction. So many young women saw themselves reflected in the novel.
The story of five young girls trying to make their careers in a large New York firm rang true to so many of the lives of women in the 50's. It is a brilliant depiction of the personal and professional struggles that women found in the city and corporate world.
This book follows a group of twenty-something "career girls" through the filth, g ...more
What surprised me the most was how misogynistic the society was at the time: the most important thing for a woman was to find a good husband. She could have a job until she find it, but afterwards... s ...more
I was in the middle of a particularly terrible reading slump when I decided to start reading this book, and I'm pretty sure that's the reason it took nearly two damn months for me to finish it. This meant, of course, that whenever I picked it up again after an extended period I kept having to return to previous bits in order to recall bits of the plot (actually fairly easy, as there's not re...more
The book tells the story of three young women who work in publishing in 1950s Manhattan. And the look into the publishing world was utterly fascinating--I really don't know how women dealt with that kind of stuff all the time. Getting hit on by bosses, bei ...more
-"You'll buy a drink and you'll take it outside on the terrace...And you'll be looking out at the beautiful tropical night and listening to music from inside the bar, and you'll sip at your drink, an ...more
Seemingly thought of as scandalous and racy at a time when I'm informed the issues featured simply weren't spoken of much less written about I thought this a novel very much of its time.
A story of a group of women new to New York. Whi ...more
Here is another novel from the 1950s telling us that lots more sex went on than we were led to believe and that what women really want is love and a husband. It is a mildly entertaining story. Set in the office of a publishing company and following the lives of four young women, it has been called the Sex and the City of the 50s.
Rona Jaffe wrote the novel, her first, when she was 24, a recent graduate of Radcliffe, working as an associate editor at Fawcett Publications. The writing is just fi ...more
Caroline, the main character, goes to work to busy her mind from a broken engagement, in the process she finds a part of herself that she was not fully aware of, as I was reading I latched on to Caroline as a woman who could s ...more
“You see them every morning at a quarter to nine, rushing out of the maw of the subway tunnel, filing out of Grand Central Station, crossing Lexington and Park and Madison and Fifth avenues, the hundreds and hundreds of girls. Some of them look eager and some look resentful, and some look as if they haven’t left their beds yet. Some of them have been up since six-thirty in the morning, the ones who commute from Brooklyn and Yonkers and new Jersey ...more
It's subversive yet a little soapy, which is why I know it's been relegated to toe the line between the dark corners of literary fiction and the pulpy titles the girls help publish in the novel.
There is more owed to this book and what it foretold about women and feminism without being preachy about it. The overall tone of the book is timeless and was very modern for the time; and at the same tim ...more
The Best of Everything follows the lives of female office workers in a publishing house in 1953 -- from the talented, underpaid editor; the young, hopeful bride-to-be; the girl trying to break into show business; to the girl who fell off the turnip truck who finds herself pregnant and hanging on to promises that will never come to be.
Each story is wound up -- some neatly, some not -- in a satisfying way ...more
Ms. Jaffe was the author of sixteen books, including Class Reunion, Family Secrets, The Road Taken, and The Room- ...more