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Penelope    by Rebecca Harrington order for
by Rebecca Harrington
Order:  USA  Can
Vintage, 2012 (2012)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Penelope is entering a new phase of her life. Graduating high school, sans friends, she embarks on what she hopes will be a whole new life at Harvard with barrels of fun things to do with all of the new friends she is sure she is going to make.

Her two roommates prove to be different than she thought they were going to be. No girly, late night gab fests with secrets spilling over into the evening. Her attitude to her classes does not bode well for passing grades.

I did not graduate from one of these bastions of higher learning. I think I would have ended up running full tilt away should I have been fortunate enough to be able to afford the tuition. Penelope gets full credit in my mind for sticking it out.

She appears not have a real thought of her own and wants to accept others' advice, with 'OK' as her usual reply. Even the ordeal of finally hooking up with a person of the male persuasion is fraught with doubt and a lot of empty time.

Penelope's mother is full of suggestions as to Penelope's methods of living her life. Mom would have been hard to deal with, but I could see that she was pushing her daughter to blend in for her own sake and maybe for Mom's.

The blurbs for this novel remark on it being ‘hilarious, refreshing, pleasantly absurd and highly addictive’. Rather, I found it sad and poignant. Must be my age.

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