I always hoped to make a tremendous group of friends for life in college. I had a great group of friends while there, but with one exception none were mean to be life-long friends. So today I’m looking at books about friends–friends made in college or high school. Enjoy!
First the Harvard Books
Because no one goes anywhere else in books, right?
A group of guys at Harvard, the girls they love, the fabulous car, oh and World War II. What’s not to love? JFK and George H.W. Bush fans–their friends are in here. So, too, are friends you wouldn’t expect to meet. Anton Myer wrote two of the best American novels ever published–The Last Convertible and Once an Eagle. In the 1970’s both were made into excellent mini-series for television. This was the last time network tv ever outclassed Masterpiece on PBS. It saddens me that books like this–massive, sprawling worlds, yes “worlds, for this type book is way more than a book, are rarely published today. The tyranny of the 300 page Book Club limit or simple Return on Investment, I’m not sure which. What a shame. This book is way better than staring at your phone. Although it appears to be out-of-print, it is easy to buy used. The Last Convertible by Anton Myer.
The 1970s were my “coming of age” time. I was, by then, a huge reader. My Mom was too and she shared a lot of great books with me. She didn’t censor our reading ever–my brother and I read whatever we wanted. She was always willing to discuss it with us, too.
I loved everything about this novel when I was a teenager and I’ve re-read it several times since. The sequel isn’t bad, either, in case you just have to have an update. Class Reunion and After the Reunion by Rona Jaffe.
Yes, Erich Segal is the guy who wrote Love Story and coined the idiotic phrase, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry,” but he wrote some other novels, too. Class, like the beginning of Love Story, is set at Harvard. The best way to describe this one is “Meet Oliver Barrett III’s fraternity brothers and the sorority girls who wouldn’t give poor music student Jennifer Cavilleri the time of day.”
Friends from Vassar who live racy, modern, career girl lives! One young woman even gets a diaphragm so she can have sex with a man–and she’s not married! This is a classic on women’s lives–the ennui of marriage, the devaluing of women’s success outside of the Seven Sisters colleges that paired with the Ivy League, and the devaluing of women of all sorts once they are married-off. The book is also a later age coming-of-age story–the women frankly explore their sexuality at a time in which this was not discussed and an era in which even college educated women could enter marriage not really “knowing” what would happen on their wedding night. The Group by Mary McCarthy.
Do you have a favorite book set in College or University? Leave me a comment with the title. I love to hear from readers.