The Prodigal Womenby Nancy Hale Published 28 Jan 1981
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THEY LEARNED TO LIVE LAVISHLY
Leda March was fifteen when she met the Jekyll sisters, two southern beauties with the money, position, and unerring social sense of a prominent Virginia family. They had everything Leda wanted.
From posh Beacon Hill homes to the bustling career hub of New York City and the langorous charm of Virginia in the twenties, we follow the lives of three extraordinary women. Through marriage and infidelity, brilliant careers and tragic love affairs, men and more men, they discover what it means to live--and love.
"The Prodigal Women" Reviews
This book started out promising, focusing on two sweet girls who become friends and admire one girl's older sister who is popular with boys. Unfortunately, it's downhill from there, and at 556 pages it's a long way down. The two girls and the older sister ALL become obsessed with men who are absolute brutes, who abuse them emotionally and/or physically. It's quite disturbing to read. No matter how much these men openly admit their contempt and their desire to hurt them, the women are fine with it and actually double-down on their commitment to them. "I can take it, whatever you give me...." is the kind of attitude and language they use. Yuck!
The older sister ends up with a nervous breakdown and the younger sister seems headed to the same sanitarium by the end. There are four minor characters who seem decent: a friend Nicola who marries a decent man, one girl's cousin James, and the psychiatrist at the sanitarium. Other than that, it's horrible. Let's see, can I think of any redeeming qualities? Well, you get a lot of details about the way that horrible people think and feel, so if you want to learn about that, this is the book for you.
I am furious with Florence King who recommended this book. I have no idea what she sees in this dreadful tale....
A challenging and sometimes uncomfortable read, but rewarding. Challenging in that these psychological portraits are complex and there are no easy answers for women trying to find their place in society and in their families, and it makes you think. While reading this book and for a couple weeks after I found myself worrying about the characters as if they were real people. I know this is one I will read again.
Long in parts, but an overall enjoyable historical read.
One of my all-time favorite books that I have read more than once. A challenging read but it is set during the Roaring 20's (one of my most favorite time periods) and really illustrates what it was like to be a woman during that time. New freedoms and old constraints mixed together.
I found this old book at the recycling center and I'm so glad I decided to take it home. I'd never heard of it but it turned out to be one of those books that stays in my mind. Very enjoyable.
The prodigal women by Nancy Hale (1942)