Monday, February 07, 2011

Bright Young Things

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.

I requested Bright Young Things from the library after I read this article. I figured it was worth a shot. I legitimately enjoyed reading The Great Gatsby in high school and I can't remember the last time I read a book set in 1920s New York.

I read Bright Young Things over the weekend. It was a quick read and while it was enjoyable, I don't know that I'll continue with the series.

Cordelia, the novel's primary protagonist, sometimes made decisions that made absolutely no sense to me and I'm not even sure that the decisions were necessarily in character for her. Some of them furthered the story, but for example, the book begins with Cordelia's wedding day (the aunt who raised Cordelia found out she'd had sex with her boyfriend John and forces them to get married; John is not unhappy about this and it appears that he genuinely loves her). After the wedding Cordelia and her best friend Letty run away to New York. Not days or weeks after the wedding, but hours. They'd be wanting to do this for years and had been planning and saving money.

I have to say that I really don't understand why the girls don't they leave before the wedding. There was time enough for Cordelia to make a wedding dress so it wasn't a complete rush job. While Cordelia doesn't want the life being married in small town Ohio would bring her, she does care for John. So, why would she go through with the wedding ceremony only to abandon him? It seems unnecessarily cruel.

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