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Daughters of the Revolution    by Carolyn Cooke order for
Daughters of the Revolution
by Carolyn Cooke
Order:  USA  Can
Knopf, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book

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*   Reviewed by Elizabeth Crowley

Goode School was an almost all white school for boys. African Americans were accepted only in limited numbers. Goode School was steeped in tradition and provided a strict education for its pupils. When a clerical error admits an African American girl named Carole Faust, the school's traditions and regulations are shattered. Instead of Carole being incorporated into the student body, she is asked to join the International students, where it is believed she will feel more at ease. Carole, however, has no intention of attempting to become a part of Goode's suffocating traditions. Instead, she begins to question the school's curriculum and does her best to break away from the image of the typical Goode School student.

I have seen this book reviewed as the story of Carole Faust, but Carole first appears on page 58. Daughters of the Revolution is, in fact, a novel about Goode School and its students from the perspective of numerous individuals , each in some way connected to the school. The novel is narrated by various characters who either attended Goode School or are related to someone who attended the school. Carole Faust plays a pivotal role in the novel, since she is admitted to an all boy's school at a time when minorities were fighting for equal rights. But the novel features many other characters, such as Goddard Byrd, who was Head of the school. Byrd declares women will be admitted to his school over his dead body. The novel brings to life the struggle women endured, fighting for their share of equality. Every woman in this novel rebels against the traditional view of their sex during the 60's and 70's.

At only 173 pages, Daughters of the Revolution fails to truly develop any of the characters, which might prevent some readers from fully engaging in the storyline. The constant shuffling of narrators and jumping across time also distracts. Daughters of the Revolution does provide a brief glimpse of some interesting characters, but I found that the structure of the novel reduced my enjoyment of it.

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