Let's discuss "The Group" by Mary McCarthy

In 1933, eight young female friends graduate from Vassar College. The book describes these women’s lives post-graduation, beginning with the marriage of one of the friends, Kay Strong, and ending with her funeral in 1940. Each character struggles with different issues, including sexism in the work place, child-raising, financial difficulties, family crises, and sexual relationships. Nearly all the women's issues involve the men in their lives: fathers, employers, lovers, or husbands. As highly educated women from affluent backgrounds, they must strive for autonomy and independence in a time when a woman’s role is still largely restricted to marriage and childbirth. The plot is influenced by the political and economic atmosphere of the time. Over the course of the book, the reader learns about the women’s views on contraception, love, sex, socialism, and psychoanalysis

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  • Tanya

    I'm still at my office desk, sincere apologies

    April 3, 2014

  • Rebecca Klevberg M.

    Hi Guys - long time no see, but I'm hoping to come to the next meet up. Can't wait to see you and will try to read the book but can't promise with two toddlers in the house - lo!

    1 · April 3, 2014

    • sarah s.

      Would be great to see you back :-)

      April 3, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Might not be able to make it. Read the book which I found quite difficult to get into but once I had worked out all the characters it was a definitive work of the 1930s and shows how all the women in various ways were controlled and dominated by men! I can see how my grandmother although of a different class had a breakdown in 1940 and went into a mental hospital for rest of her life. So still not sure whether Kate's death accident or suicide? Interested to know what group thought.

    April 3, 2014

  • Claire M.

    Hi all. I am not going to make the meeting tomorrow as I have to pick my daughter up from Gatwick. I am about half way through the book and am enjoying it. It remind me of The Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe written five years before The Group.

    April 2, 2014

  • Sheila C.

    Hi All - Really sorry that I can't make the group tomorrow but flying tomorrow evening to visit daughter in Hong Kong. I have only managed to read half the book this time but will have lots of time on the flight to finish it. And perhaps to read the next book on the flight back! I am enjoying it - but keep getting the characters muddled up. Hope you all have fun.Sheila

    1 · April 2, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Unfortunately I won't be able to make the group. I am needed at my best friends wedding dress fitting. I am enjoying the book although only made it half way through so far. Enjoy the evening. Becca

    April 2, 2014

  • sarah s.

    Hope you have a good meet up. Am sure it will be a v lively discussion. Best wishes, sarah

    April 1, 2014

  • sarah s.

    Hi everyone
    I want to convey my sincere apologies to the group (pardon the pun!) as I am not able to attend Thursday s discussion of Mary McCArthy s novel 'The Group'. I managed to inadvertently double book with a concert. I read the book whilst on holiday in the sun last week and thought it made good holiday reading. Initially, it reminded me v much of other early twentieth century US authors like Henry James and their preoccupation with social class & personal wealth. It certainly provided a v incisive and informative account of the intricacy of the trials & tribulations that these individual women faced . And in so doing , gives readers a very vivid account of the social, political & sexual pressures facing women of that time which inevitably engenders our attention & sympathy. Some parts were distinctly shocking & distressing eg where a husband is able to commit his wife to a mental hospital after a routine domestic dispute! Overall a good read. I rate it 4/5.

    April 1, 2014

  • Emma S.

    Hello, half way through the book but I unfortunately can't make it.

    March 31, 2014

  • Susanne

    Hi Wendy,
    thank you very much for your message. Thanks for spotting my mistake. It is of course the usual time. Apologise to all for announcing this meet up for the third time (third time lucky).
    Have a good week and best wishes
    Susanne

    March 23, 2014

  • Wendy

    Hi Susanne

    Sorry I missed the last meeting. Is the plan to meet at 7? I may be a bit later arriving if that is ok.

    Thanks, Wendy

    March 23, 2014

  • Susanne

    Hi Jessica,
    thank you very much for spotting - and yes, Thursday the 3rd it is.
    Thanks again
    Susanne

    March 5, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I just realized that it's on a Friday - is that right? I thought we discussed Thursday? I can't do Fridays. It was great meeting everyone and I got the book over the weekend.

    March 4, 2014

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