The Room-Mating Season
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The Room-Mating Season

3.22 of 5 stars 3.22  ·  rating details  ·  268 ratings  ·  45 reviews
A powerful new novel about life and love by Rona Jaffe, the internationally bestselling author The New York Times Book Review hails as "a minor genius."

For over five decades, Rona Jaffe has captivated readers with her "deft, irresistible storytelling" (Los Angeles Times). Now this masterful author, whose books have sold more than 23 million copies worldwide, takes us thr...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published April 14th 2003 by Dutton Adult (first published 2003)
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Allison
This is a story of four women who start off as roommates in their early twenties, living in Manhattan in 1963. The author follows them until 2000, discussing the many changes in their lives and the world around them. Through all that occurs, their friendship remains- a nice reminder about the important role of friends in our lives.
M.K.  Carroll
This, to me, is not a novel. It's a plot summary.
Sharon
This books discusses the life of several girls who decide to move in together and rent an apartment. It details lives and how it takes different paths such as careers, marriage, and various dissappointments they encounter.

Here is the actual synopsis:

Leigh, Cady, Vanessa, and Susan meet when they become roommates in a townhouse on Manhattan's Upper East Side. New York in 1963 is a place of magical enchantment and infinite possibilities, especially when you're young and eager for the adventure a b...more
Laura
I was really intrigued by this book at first, four young girls living in New York and just enjoying life, but was really disappointed by the book. These are my opinions but first I found the book extremely slow and uniteresting so much so that I couldn't even bring myself to finish this book; maybe one day I will but not anytime soon. Second I didn't like that fact that the men where so nonchalant about cheating on their wives, even though that is how things where during those times. Not only th...more
Adrienne
May 08, 2008 Adrienne rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: women who have strong bonds with their past or present roommates
what a drag it is getting old!

i'm surprised some other reviewers were so harsh, b/c i really enjoyed reading this, and i don't even usually go for chick lit. this book is the only one by rona jaffe i've read, so i don't really have a means of comparison to her other work.

this story engaged me, even when it was predictable (i mean cady's relationship with paul, which was painful; a few zingers thrown in near the end definitely surprised me). probably the reason i was most interested in this book...more
Mackenzie
Before a couple weeks ago, I'd never heard of Rona Jaffe, nor the book The Room-Mating Season. I saw a friend of mine reading it and asked if I could borrow it when she was finished, since it sounded somewhat interesting.

I started this book three days ago, and to say the least the first 150 pages were a major drag. I couldn't seem to get into the book just cause this type of book isn't really the type I normally read. Nevertheless, I forced myself to continue and I'm happy I did. I really enjoye...more
Britt Griffith
This book was a lot better than I anticipated. It centered around 3 women who became friends when they shared an apartment in New York City. Vanessa, the promiscuous flight attendant, was my favorite character, the one who felt she had to validate her self-worth through male attention. I absolutely detested Cady, who was whiny, selfish, and spoiled, and who was always jealous of Leigh, who she felt lived a charmed life. The book followed them from their twenties through their sixties. Even thoug...more
♥ Marlene♥
on Saturday, April 16, 2005 I wrote on bookcrossing about this book:


Hi sandy Right now reading this book, have read about 2/3rd of it and enjoying the read. This book is much more like some of her older books, for instance like reunion and stuff. venus envy is more chick lit from the twenties :-) from this century.

I do not think this is one of her best books, but definitely a great read.
will update more when i am done.


Oops forgot to update
yes i can see your point sand. The women were a lot alike...more
Stacy
I had no expectations when I stumbled across this book in the library. In fact, I was surprised to see it classified as chick lit by other readers because it didn't strike me as a fun, quick, read poolside book. I liked the story and the characters. I enjoyed the transition through the years. Perhaps it's my age and the fact that I'm chronologically in the middle of the book. Those girls in the beginning? I knew them years ago. The girls turning 30? I know them. The girls turning 40? They're my...more
Katharine
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Diana
It is the early 1960's and four young ladies share a one bedroom apartment in New York City. It was the only way they can afford to live in the city. They are very different people and have different careers.
This book makes it sound like if you weren't married, it was perfect acceptable to have an older, married man for a boyfriend.
Can't imagine sharing a one bedroom apartment with 3 other people. I did it with 2 others and it was very difficult.
The book follows the young ladies (and thei...more
Michelle
Started off as a "Mad Men" told from the secretaries perspective (NYC 1960's for those of you not familiar with the show) and I really liked it. But then it moved from decade to decade, following the lives of these 4 women...not that that was bad, I just would have prefferred the story to stay in the 60's and include more detail, rather than giving an overview of their lives in each decade. This would have made the story better since we would have seen growth over a few years instead of the grow...more
Kristenfalsocapaldi
I picked up this book on a bargain rack and read it because I am a big fan of Rona Jaffe's short story "Rima the Bird Girl," which I read in a "Short Fiction by Women" class in college and teach to my high school students occasionally. Unfortunately, this novel was a big disappointment. Short, choppy sentences, characters that don't seem quite real, and narration that leaves nothing to the reader's imagination. I gave it two stars because I did finish it just to see how the three characters' liv...more
Diana
This book is very addictive, I was not prepared to love it as much as I did. I now want to read everything that Rona Jaffe has written, I liked it that much. Of all the women, I definitely loved Leigh the most while I think I related to Vanessa the most. Cady was the most annoying character I have ever read about but she reminds me of so many women I know, I could not dismiss her presence in this book. Susan... well, I just don't know how I feel about Susan. The friendships between these women i...more
Meredith
I really can't judge this book too harshly because I picked it up knowing it was chick lit and continued to read through the vapidness until the very end. Something compelled me; I think I just wanted to know how the author would resolve the messy, empty lives of Cady and Vanessa. And the ending was actually sort of interesting, a real kick in the bra.

My main problem with this book as a piece of chick lit is it wanted to be mature chick lit. It wasn't fun and light-hearted, nor did it offer enou...more
Maxine Weiss
I loved this when it came out in 2003? I read it in large-print. Some will find it cliched, and the shallow writing. But I read enough challenging books (John Updike, Philip Roth)...that's it's nice to read something easy for a change.

I haven't liked everything Jaffe has done, and there were a flood of negative comments on Amazon about this one....but I disagree. I loved it, and it was easy to get through, Jaffe's skill is in the perfect amount of narration to dialogue, and Jaffe's unique charac...more
Kate-Roger
Got to this title from a movie I saw that was from another Rona Jaffe novel 'The Best of Everything". She weaves an interesting tale here with women starting out as roommates in their 20's in the 1960's through their lives into the next millennium.
GL
This is the second Rona Jaffe book I've read (the first was 'The best of everything' which I loved!) I found this book quite hard to get into at the beginning but liked it more as it started progressing through the years. I don't think the characters were very well-drawn and kept getting mixed up between Leigh and Cady and their married men as in the beginning they seemed too similar. I had guessed what the 'twist' was at the end so that didn't come as any kind of surprise. I think this is a goo...more
Kelsey Bundra
This book was everything I was expecting it to be and more. It properly describes how early friendships change with the passage of time. It did not make out friendship to be a constant, unwavering force like some chic-lits will tend to sell you on. It showed that relationships are tested by time and distance. Room-Mating Season displays the individual lives of best friends and the situations where they return into each others lives. Husbands, children, moving, adultery, suicide, and eating dis...more
Anina
This was so oddly written, I read it compulsively but she just sort of lists what happens in 3 womens' romantic lives over a span of 3 decades. Never any real details as to how they look, what the scenery is like, what the food tasted like, etc. I read on a blog it was recommended for Mad Men fans...it does begin in the 60's and some characters are emotionally stunted but the similarity ends there, there's no aesthetics which was just so strange.

However, this truly was some quality chick lit so...more
Karra
I LOVED the beginning of this book when all of the main characters were in their early 20's and looking for love. Mostly because I'm in my early 20's and hoping to one day find that special someone, so I was able to really connect with the characters and even saw pieces of myself in some of them. However as they aged and grew older, they entered a realm I'm not yet familiar with and won't be for awhile. Due to that I grew less interested and was sometimes tired of reading it. As their lives prog...more
Paula
I don't know what it is about Rona Jaffe's books, but I have loved each and every one of them that I have read and this one is no exception. Part of the reason has to do with the fact that I grew up in New York City in the 50s and 60s, so I relate to her characters. But she wrote so wonderfully: no literary tricks, no flowery words; but somehow her characters come alive, so like real people. I am always sad when her books end. It's like saying goodbye to a friend. A great read! Women's fiction t...more
Alena
I usually really enjoy Rona Jaffe's books, but this was one of her weaker efforts. She specializes in books that follow certain characters throughout the decades as they make their way through life, and adultery seems to play a major part -- wonder what her own marriage was like? But the characters in this book weren't as fully realized, and I think the timeline jumped too much. I didn't really care as much about the fate of these characters because they seemed so superficial. I prefer her earli...more
Jenine
I picked this book up expecting a fluffy read and was floored by the depth of emotion in the story line of the lives of these young women meeting and living together in a flat in NYC.
Each one chose a different path through life, and none ended up precisely where they expected to but all found a way to be happy with their situation... eventually.
It was interesting to have the different decades as a back drop for the story line.
Julie
This story follows the lives of 3 women over the decades. It starts off in the 60s-70s, so maybe that's why I couldn't relate to the desire all of these women had to immediately find a husband and settle down. The characters were interesting and fun for the most part. Although one was just completely unlikeable to me. It was nice to follow them through their journeys over the years and how they grew...and, in some cases, didn't!
Brandy
I haven't read one of hers in awhile and it was great as always. Pulls you right in until the end. This book took place over 40 years. A lot of her books do that. The twist at the end was sort of surprising but then you realized you always knew. Leigh had started out as a bigger character but kind of fell to the background behind the others. A good book though.
Katie
They say never to judge a book by its cover...and in this case, title. This novel takes you through the friendship of three girls over several decades, whom happened to room together for one year in their twenties. So it's not really a season of room-mating; misleading. Their relationships are complex; not the typical happy-go-lucky chick-lit tale.
Micah
I picked this book up at the library on a whim. I really didn't know what to expect, other than a tale of some female roommates in NYC. It ended up being a really interesting tale of their lives as roommates and beyond. I became a bit annoyed with Cady's character, but in some ways, I think I'm a little like her. Scary. It was a good read.
Kristine (fezabel)
I enjoyed this book for what it was. I read it in a quiet weekend and it would be an excellent choice for travel or summer reading. It's not great literature, but the characters are engaging and well-written. The ending isn't very good and seems inane as well as superfluous after the rest of the story. Still, it's an enjoyable read.
T.Y.
This book was a nice fluff read, but ultimately a let down. The synopsis on the back of the book made the story out to be so much more dramatic than it actually was. I had a hard time truly liking or identifying with any of the characters. But, I liked it well enough... not well enough to actually BUY the book, or read it twice.
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Rona Jaffe established The Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards program in 1995. It is the only national literary awards program of its kind dedicated to supporting women writers exclusively. Since the program began, the Foundation has awarded more than $850,000 to a total of 92 women.

Ms. Jaffe was the author of sixteen books, including Class Reunion, Family Secrets, The Road Taken, and The Room-...more
More about Rona Jaffe...
The Best of Everything Class Reunion Mazes and Monsters The Road Taken After the Reunion

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