Bennington Girls Are Easy
What It’s About:
Based on privileged girls who attended Bennington College in Vermont, Bennington Girls Are Easy navigates through their twenties as they all try to make it as adults. The main protagonists are Cassandra Puffin and Sylvie Furst, both of whom are best friends, and end up moving in together in Brooklyn, New York after they graduate. What follows is their journey as they both try to figure out how to get jobs, save money, meet boys, and decorate their small apartment. However, once reality catches up with them and they realize that adulthood is a lot harder than they thought, it tests the two girls’ friendship.
This story is essentially about female friendships and growing up. Told through several different POV’s, it allows the readers to glimpse into every character’s minds to see what their thought process is like.
I had high hopes going into Bennington Girls Are Easy based on the summary, but right off the bat, I could tell it wasn’t going to live up to its potential in my head. For starters, the whole thing is all tell, but no show. For those who don’t know what that means:
Show, don’t tell is a technique often employed in various kinds of texts to enable the reader to experience the story through action, words, thoughts, senses, and feelings rather than through the author’s exposition, summarization, and description.
Instead of properly describing anything, or even writing most of the dialogue, the author spends a lot of the book just summarizing what these characters went through over the years. And it sucks because their lives were jam packed with drama, romance, and friendships forming and breaking. I would have loved to read all that in detail. Perhaps the author had too much material and it couldn’t all fit in the book.
Aside from that, what I liked about the book was that it highlighted a lot of important messages. For one, the plot line where Sylvie and Cassandra moved to New York together to make it big only to realize later how hard it is shows the struggles of 20 somethings out of college. We’re all dreamers and we all have goals, but it’s so hard to find a stable job and save up.
Another part I liked was the different friendships these girls went through. Sylvie and Cassandra were the best of friends, but they grew apart. A lot of it had to with how different they became, and that happens in real life, too. And while friends can grow apart, they can grow together as well. People who you never thought you’d be friends with end up becoming some of your best. The learning period in our twenties is so important and this book really portrays that.
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.