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The Girl Pretending to Read Rilke

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  25 ratings  ·  5 reviews
The Girl Pretending to Read Rilke is a coming-of-age novel set in a biology lab in the summer of 1963 in Boston. Both the heroine, 19-year-old Bronwen, and America are suffering growing pains and soon all the standards of the past will be shattered as the Pill and the war in Vietnam change people's expectations forever. A shocking telegram forces Bronwen to choose between ...more
Kindle Edition, 213 pages
Published March 4th 2013 (first published March 12th 2000)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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Laurel-Rain
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Poised in a moment in time marked by change, Bronwen, age nineteen, is eager to begin a research summer job in Boston. And with the job comes a reunion with boyfriend Eric, a graduate student at Harvard. For the summer, they will be living in Eric's Cambridge flat.

The 60s had brought remarkable opportunities for young women. At any other time in history, could a young woman have obtained an internship with a Harvard Junior Fellow? Before Betty Friedan's book hit the stores, had women
...more
Book
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, women
"“The Girl Pretending to Read Rilke"” by Barbara Riddle is a well-written novel that tells the story from the 60-ies of, about the time that although not so long ago, in many ways was different from the world we'’re living in.

In her novel author introduce one female science student named Bronwen who works in a Harvard lab. Due to her life inexperience she will make a huge mistake and jeopardize her entire career that in those years in the scientific community was already difficult to
...more
Carol Ryan
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Every once in a while the author of ‘The
Girl Pretending to Read Rilke’ stopped me in mid-sentence. Sometimes it was an eerily accurate description (of an army-surplus store, for example: ‘smells of slightly moldy canvass duffel bags and new cotton’). Sometimes it was an observation of an obscure emotional state easily overlooked. Sometimes it was a laugh out loud scene. Usually, it was a moment of recognition. Things I’ve experienced but not thought about in decades, if at all. Those are t
...more
Helen
Jun 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: women, misc-fiction
This first novel deals with a young woman coming of age in the 1960s, struggling to find her place as a woman in the world of science and understand her emotions. The protagonist uses "pretending to read Rilke," as a defensive shield to avoid interacting with people around her. I enjoyed reading this and hope Barbara Riddle writes more.
Simona Ahrnstedt
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written!
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