GROWING UP GUILTY by Sheila Schwartz


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The Way We Were, in the late 1930s--and then some. ""Fat, homely,"" friendless 13-year-old Susan Green, who has a hateful Brooklyn Jewish family (overbearing mother, timid father, faultless siblings), is sent for her improvement to posh Camp Olympic, where she has a horrible time (snotty bunkmates, vicious counselor) until, fixed up for a dance with the neighboring boys' camp (to induce her to go), she is befriended by handsome southern social-director Vern Howard, 18, who appears to be taken with her mordant humor/self-deprecation. And by gosh it looks as if he is: a sleeping-bag tryst (innocent so far as it goes) leads to the disgrace of both but not to Susan's disillusion: the other girls rally round her and life, she decides, can change. Back in Brooklyn, she takes up with Young Communist Sol, rejects his Party-line strictures but ultimately defies her parents and, turning 17, wins a scholarship to break-away, get-ahead Barnard and welcomes Sol home on Army leave. ""People should be able to have different political philosophies""--and Susan, finally casting off both Vern and her family hang-ups, will cleave to devoted Sol. Trendy, trickle-down adult fiction, emotionally counterfeit and politically naive.

Pub Date: Oct. 9th, 1978
ISBN: 0595417930
Publisher: Pantheon