In the Name of Friendship: A Novel
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In the Name of Friendship: A Novel

3.32 of 5 stars 3.32  ·  rating details  ·  90 ratings  ·  17 reviews
The critically acclaimed author Marilyn French, of the seven million copy bestseller The Women’s Room, returns to that exploration of the truths and realities of women’s lives, this time 35 years after the women’s movement began. Set in the mountains of the Berkshires, this novel revolves around four disparate women whose personalities vary as greatly as their ages but who...more
Hardcover, 382 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by The Feminist Press at CUNY (first published January 1st 1997)
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M
Feminist novels promise to be thinly veiled agenda driven platforms for spewing all sorts of angry philosophy, and this certainly delivers. French penned this in her seventies, three years before her death, and this affected a lot of the writing - most of the women are around that age, and the story is primarily a rambling stream of consciousness about how things have changed in the world over the last seven decades.
Four women who at times seemed interchangeable to me form a friendship that is n...more
Terry
I am a HUGE Marilyn French fan, but I was a bit underwhelmed with the particular book, and it pains me to say that. For fans of The Women's Room French is basically working on the same ideas (how women balance expectations of them--their families', their colleagues', their children's, their own--with their own needs and desires and interests) with the same very general plot device (following a group of women over the course of a year). In this particular book a few of the women are a generation...more
Meaghan
Feb 04, 2008 Meaghan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Rich white ladies who like to think about their role in society.
I liked the story but did not like the lecture on feminism. Lady, you are writing for the classic feminist writers series. You do not have to convine your readers that feminism is important and relevent. More importantly, the story is more convincing than the lectures. Show, don't tell!!!
Tess Mertens-Johnson
I devoured Marilyn French's "The Women's Room" in the 70s. I went tot my local library looking for it to re-read, and found "In The Name of Friendship" which has been called the Women's Room II.
This book is set in the early 200s and follows a group of women who live near each other in Stevenson, MA. It is a melting pot of personalities and issues. Maddy, the Matriarch of the group who blames her family's issues on her parenting and is grieving the loss of her Vietnam damaged son. Emily, who is M...more
Jennifer
Decided to read this because of her history, it even says on the left hand corner of the book, "Classic Feminist Writers." I found it hard to read at times, sometimes the dialogue was a little stiff so that was distracting. It's a story about four friends who live in the Berkshires; two women are in their seventies, one in her fifties and one in her thirties. I felt like the men were portrayed badly and the focus for the women was either on how society limited their choices, due to the times the...more
Joan
I expected to like this way better than I did. I selected it because of the relationship of older and younger women. It could have been good if it has not been so wordy and political. I like the premise of four good friends of vastly different ages. And for the most part I liked the women, Maddy and Emily both in their 70's, Alicia in her 50' and Jenny in her 30's. They are all women of privilege and each with a special talent. And each of the men, Maddy's weak-willed husband, Charley, Alicia's...more
Linda Tuplin
After plugging through the first half of the book, finally gave up. I was excited to start it, having loved her other novels. But I found I could not keep the characters straight and that it was overall just boring and somewhat pretentious. Disappointing.
Sally Atwell Williams
Loved the different ages of the women and the discussions between two or all four throughout the novel Well written. I had read the Women's Room in the 70's. Haven't read any others of Ms. French's books until this one. It was well worth it.
Anne-marie
currently reading this-and loving it. it's like having a converstation - or listening to one - with women friends - smart friends. i'm nodding my head a lot! such great insight about women-men-feminism.
Miebeth de Horn
Een beschouwend boek over emancipatie, vriendschappen en hoe relaties je blik op de wereld kunnen veranderen. Afwisselend boeiend en stof gevend tot nadenken. Soms iets te stellig in de beweringen.
Pembsgirl
Liked this but found it a tad repetitious and I honestly can't remember ever having conversations like the ones described between the friends in this book.
Ellen
This book wants to just preach about the past - women's issues - but tries to bury it in a narrative. It's okay, just kind of boring.
Tina
Not as profound as her earlier books, but her descriptions of this small community of women is touching and comforting.
Cathy
I had a really hard time getting into this one. I kept hoping it would get better and hook me...but alas...not my style maybe.
Bernice Schwartzman villa
While the characters are interesting there is far too much of her now familiar and repetitious feminist rhetoric.
Carol
Gave up on it - it just wasn't interesting. What a shame - her earlier books had a profound influence on me.
Beth Shields-Szostak
Jun 22, 2010 Beth Shields-Szostak marked it as to-read
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She attended Hofstra University (then Hofstra College) where she also received a master's degree in English in 1964. She married Robert M. French Jr. in 1950; the couple divorced in 1967. She later attended Harvard University, earning a Ph.D in 1972.[1] Years later she became an instructor at Hofstra University.

In her work, French asserted that women's oppression is an intrinsic part of the male-d...more
More about Marilyn French...
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