What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

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Suggest books for me > Early-mid 20th century female writers/young women moving to the city

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message 1: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments So one of my favourite types of book (although it's not exactly a genre) is the kind with a plot about women's lives in the early-mid 20th century. Particularly post-WW2 fiction about women entering the workplace for the first time. Some examples would be:
The Best of Everything
A Time to Be Born
The Group
The Women In Black

Other authors of a similar type that I already like:
Daphne du Maurier, Shirley Jackson, Elaine Dundy, Katherine Mansfield, Edith Wharton

Any similar suggestions along these lines would be great. I would prefer contemporary books from that time, rather than recent books set in the past (if you see what I mean).


message 2: by Karen (last edited Dec 04, 2015 01:10PM) (new)

Karen | 261 comments In the comments section of The Best of Everything someone named Dana recommends:

"Summer at Tiffany , by Marjorie Hart. It reads like a novel but is a memoir of a few girls living in NYC in the 1940's, spreading their wings, trying to make it as successful single girls. "

I added The Best of Everything to my To Be Read list :)


message 3: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 37809 comments Mod
I only read a few pages of it, but maybe The Price of Salt. One MC is a department store clerk, the other MC is a housewife. They embark on a lesbian affair. Recently made into a movie.


message 4: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 37809 comments Mod
Summer is a kind of coming of age/sexual awakening, definitely a story of an innocent-ish country girl going into town and getting into trouble.

An American Tragedy's protagonist is male, but he has a girlfriend who I think of as a typical character in novels of this type. She's in a low status factory job, he's in a supervisory position at the factory, things happen.


message 5: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 37809 comments Mod
Pictures from an Institution features men and women, the MC is a novelist in residence at a New England women's college, based on Mary McCarthy. Very witty, snarky, satirical.


message 6: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments Thank you both, some good suggestions that I haven't heard of before.


message 7: by Kaion (last edited Dec 08, 2015 01:42AM) (new)

Kaion (kaionvin) | 389 comments Evvie takes place in the 1920s. It's a rollicking read based on Vera Caspary's own experiences as a young, liberated woman in the city.


message 8: by Trixie (last edited Dec 08, 2015 02:59AM) (new)

Trixie | 86 comments I'm not sure if Valley of the Dolls qualifies. It is the first workplace experience for one of the characters and it does start in 1945 (though written in the 1960s).


message 9: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments Oh, I love Valley of the Dolls! I've also read The Bell Jar.

Evvie looks like a good one to check out, haven't heard of it before.

Many thanks for all suggestions.


message 10: by Rainbowheart (new)

Rainbowheart | 16265 comments Give Me Time, sort of similar to The Group.


message 11: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments Thanks, that looks interesting!


message 12: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Love | 1078 comments We Shook the Family Tree by Hildegarde Dolson. (Only last few chapters are about moving to NYC the day the Depression hit. Still fun.) We Shook the Family Tree


message 13: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 37809 comments Mod
The Song of the Lark. 17 year old girl in small town Colorado has something special and unique in her which, everyone around her can see, will be wasted unless she goes to the big city. Spans late 19th-early 20th century, from her childhood to about age 40.


message 14: by Shanna_redwind (new)

Shanna_redwind | 859 comments Hattie Ever After is a YA book set just after WWI, and is about a woman moving to the city and entering the workforce. It's the second in the series, but I think you could read it without reading the first Hattie Big Sky (Which is about her running her own farm)


message 15: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)


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