J. Courtney Sullivan
I originally picked up Commencement because it looked to be one of those chick lit books I love: four girls, from different backgrounds, finding each other at the right time, and staying friends through life's adventures and misadventures. It was that, but it was also so much more! I expected fluffy, happy-go-lucky, maybe a tear but definitely some laughing out loud. I got that, but I also got a thought-provoking story that reached in deep and made me think about all kinds of 'issues'.
Logistically, the novel is written from each of the girls' perspective in turn - clearly labeled, and you always know which character is narrating which section (this is a good thing). Since the story begins with their freshman introduction and continues to the present, there is a lot of 'flashback' and time-jumping -- however, it is not confusing and transitions are introduced very well. Each girl is allowed to tell her own story, or own personal interpretation of shared events as well as her own individual journey. Because of this, there is some overlap between accounts - however, this only adds to the depth of the story, making it more real and involved.
I definitely loved this novel, even though some parts were really hard to read ((there are a lot of serious, weighty issues that are present - it's not overwhelming, but you will think)). I had no idea where the story was going, and at the end I was totally surprised -- since I tend to guess how things are going to end, this is an accomplishment on the part of the author. I'd love to know where the story is going from there -- will there be a sequel? Does it continue only in the minds and hearts of those who read it? Time will tell, I s'pose.
Book provided by my local library.