then it will be the rare woman who is not in the end narrowed and limited by our society’s idea of what a woman should be.
As Faith expertly bandages Greer’s thumb after she cuts herself slicing onions, Greer idealizes the coexistence of power and love: “When women got into positions of power, they calibrated and recalibrated tenderness and strength, modulating and correcting.” But only a few pages later, Greer, a vegetarian, succumbs to an unspoken pressure to eat the steak dinner Faith has cooked.
She’s a freshman whom fate has installed, to her disappointment, at Ryland, a lower-tier liberal-arts college.
(She was supposed to go to Yale, but her parents screwed up her financial-aid forms.) Mousy and studious, she’s blindsided by her rage—not so much at her assailant as at the system, which gives him the proverbial slap on the wrist.
But if a novel falls in the forest and no men read it, does it make a sound?