14 August 2013

Book Review: The 42nd Parallel

The ladies in the book club decided to try something different for our meeting in September. We typically read popular contemporary books. This month we went for a classic in The 42nd Parallel by John Dos Passos.

I liked the book. I really did. But I think this is the kind of book that I need to read without distractions - so maybe summertime isn't the most ideal time to read it. Or while teaching a four-week summer course. I think I missed out on some very important details.

Regardless, Dos Passos follows five people to New York City (all arriving there for different reasons) just before the U.S. enters World War I. All of the characters start out working class. Some earn fortunes, others do not.

What I found most interesting about the book were the female characters, particularly because this book was published in 1930. The women were both single and professional, which is such an odd position to be in during that time.

Sadly, I don't remember much about the book (distractions!), so I'll have to read the Cliff's Notes before book club in a few weeks.

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