Bennington Girls Are Easy by Charlotte Silver

Bennington Girls Are Easy by Charlotte Silver

Promoted as a coming of age story of recent Liberal Arts graduates from Bennington College attempting to start a life in New York City the story has some wonderful moments and humor.

Bennington Girls Are Easy

While I didn’t find that Sylvie and Cassandra were particularly easy to like. Charlotte Silver’s writing brought humor to descriptions and observations  from them.

Frequent mishaps befall these two: most are met with a similar circumstances as a group of recent Bennington grads.  In some ways, the story depicts disgorging the innocent into the pits at the coliseum. None of the characters  have any consistent use of basic life skills or qualities that one would expect,  Personal responsibility and accountability, work ethic, self-motivation or even (in some cases) honesty.  Perhaps a warning shot across the bow in satire. A social commentary on the lack of skills and personal character of this particular group, raised with wealth and more than a bit entitled.   Surely it was just this group: formed initially by circumstance at university and now drawn by the familiarity. There really is little to no growth through the story, even as it takes ten years in the telling.

As a whole, with Sylvie and Cassandra are far less able to cope with the changes of the ‘real’ world in which they are struggling to survive. A perfect ‘how not to’ approach the years after university, no matter your major. This combined with a touch of a scathing commentary on those who can’t adapt.  Interesting reading that will in turns frustrate and amuse. I spent  most of the time wondering if anyone will actually get it together, since they have their own acts down to perfection.

An intriguing read for the writing and snark alone. Silver’s ability to add the conflicting tones of insecure, clueless and snobbery born of privilege is clever.

Bennington Girls Are Easy by Charlotte Silver

Title: Bennington Girls Are Easy
Author: Charlotte Silver
Genre: Woman's Fiction, Coming of Age
Published by: Doubleday
ISBN: 0385538960
Published on: 14 July 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 272
Audio Length: 7 Hours: 48 minutes
Rated: three-stars
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Charlotte Silver dazzles with a ruefully funny coming-of-age novel that follows two recent Bennington grads who are determined to make it in the Big Apple.

Bennington College, founded in 1932 as a suitable refuge for the wayward daughters of good families, maintains its saucy reputation for attracting free spirits. There, acres outnumber students, the faculty is composed of fading hippie and clothing is largely optional. Or, as J. D. Salinger put it in Franny and Zooey: a Bennington-type “looked like she’d spent the whole train ride in the john, sculpting or painting or something, or as though she had a leotard on under her dress.

”Cassandra Puffin and Sylvie Furst met in high school but cement what they ardently believe will be everlasting friendship on Bennington’s idyllic Vermont campus. Graduation sees Sylvie moving to New York City, where, later on their twenties, Cassandra joins her. These early, delirious years are spent decorating their Fort Greene apartment with flea market gems, dating “artists”, and trying to figure out what they’re doing with their lives.

The girls are acutely and caustically observant of the unique rhythms of the city but tone deaf to their own imperfections, which eventually drives a wedge between them. Equal parts heartfelt and hilarious, Bennington Girls Are Easy is a novel about female friendships—how with one word from a confidante can lift you up or tear you down—and how difficult it is to balance someone else’s devastatingly funny lapses in judgment with your own professional and personal missteps.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.


About Charlotte Silver

Charlotte Silver grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, before attending Bennington College. She studied writing at The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and has been published in the New York Times. After college, the author spent one memorable summer as a chaperone for two young girls in New York City, which inspired her novel The Summer Invitation. She is also the author of Charlotte au Chocolat, a memoir about growing up in the restaurant business.