Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Marjorie Morningstar

Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk was published in 1955. It is the coming of age tale of a young Jewish girl named Marjorie Morgernstern that dreams of becoming an actress. For me, the book started out slowly and it took me a while to become involved in the characters. But, once I hit the midway point there was no stopping me and I couldn't put it down until I found out what happens to this girl.

Marjorie falls in love with Noel Airman, an older man that has been hardened by the world. She is very naive about how even her close friends view relationships and sex (I rate this book PG-very tame). Remember, this is the 1930's. She grew up with very traditional values and it interesting to see how she responds to her new environments (college, Broadway, etc...). This makes for excellent book group discussion.

You're left guessing all through the book if she'll end up with Noel. Noel is the bad guy, the cad. Wally is the nice guy with a puppy love crush. George was the first love. Sandy is the parents' dream. There are actors, doctors, lawyers, and others. The ultimate question is if she will live out her girlhood dreams as an actress or succumb to the "inevitable" wife in the suburbs. The author leaves you guessing until the very end of the 500+ page book and then it leaves you guessing as to what might have been if she had chosen a different path.

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