The Odd Woman
By Gail Godwin
(Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345389916, 438pp.)
Publication Date: November 29, 2005
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"HER BEST BOOK SO FAR....[It is] one of the most literate, intelligent and powerful novels I have ever read."
The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Professor Jane Clifford is in her early thirties, smart, and attractive. A popular teacher at a midwestern college, she appears to be going somewhere. But Jane knows better. After a lifetime habit of looking to books for the answers to life's mysteries, she seems to be finding only more questions.
Then her beloved grandmother suddenly dies, and Jane returns home for the funeral, where she is faced with the little dramas and fictions of both the past she has lived and the past she has only been told about. In the midst of it all, she is considering breaking off a long-term, long-distance affair, but like the family stories she tries to make sense of, she cannot seem to find a reason to claim a life of her own....
"PROVOCATIVE...The Odd Woman is an ambitious and intricately developed novel....One of the most realistic, intelligent and skillful character studies of a contemporary woman to date....Godwin is an extraordinarily good writer....She is a shrewd observer of human sensibilities and shortcomings--particularly those of women--and she explores them in depth with sensitivity, wit and an uncanny eye for the truth."
"EXCITING AND AFFIRMATIVE...It is a privilege to watch the unfolding of her impressive talent."