I finished The Group by Mary McCarthy. I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to say about the book. Partly I think this is because I am experiencing a bit of writers block as of late. Aside from that though, I found the book to be a bit flat. McCarthy’s characters seem to be contrived to illustrate the particular social conflict that the author is trying to portray.
McCarthy wrote a book on ideas and the novel, and her thesis is that ideas are central to the novel as a form. While this is true enough, her take on ideas seems a bit heavy handed. Before reading The Group I read The Bell Jar. Both books came out around the same time and deal with similar topics. Plath’s book endures, because she has endowed her characters with genuine feelings and emotions.