A troubled, introspective young woman in college in the early 60s falls out of favor with her sorority sisters and into a troubled relationship with a black PhD candidate in philosophy.
Very typical Oates–claustrophobic first-person narrative from the POV of a woman with serious issues. The story is laced with philosophical arguments that are way less interesting than the arcana of sorority life. Once Anellia leaves the Kappa house, the book loses contact with the larger world, narrowing in on Anellia and Vernor’s twisted pseudo-love affair. Oates does such a good job of limning the world of pretty girls in pouffy dresses swilling beer with oafish boys that I missed them when they left the story.
The weirdest thing is that I am only 60% certain that I read this book before. I usually don’t forget books, so I’m not sure what that says about this particular one…