Modern Girls by Jennifer S. Brown – Book Review


In 1935 New York, Dottie is trying to live the modern woman’s life.  She has broken free of her lower middle class Jewish life to become the head accountant in her office.  Even though she is hoping to become engaged, she maintains her own social life, handles her own money and is hoping to live a more modern and “free” life than the one her mother has lead.  At the same time, her mother Rose, is chafing against her life – the endless pregnancies; the non-stop work of making a home and making the money last from week to week; and the question is this all there is?  The one spot of joy in her life is the thought that Dottie, her only daughter will have a better life than the one that she herself has lived.


Into this environment, Dottie finds herself pregnant.  Rose is also pregnant, but has kept the information to herself (she finds herself resentful and upset – she doesn’t want to start all over again with a newborn).

The different ways each women deals with their unwanted pregnancies shows up the extremely limited lives of women, the choices we make, and how we live with them.  I loved this book, and found myself completely understanding both choices.  I highly recommend this novel.  Well done!


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