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Hull, Helen R. (Helen Rose), 1888-1971.
Publication Information:
New York : Feminist Press at the City University of New York : Distributed by the Talman Co., 1990.
General Note:
Reprint. Originally published: New York : Macmillan, 1922.
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"Extraordinary in that it presents a female adolescent who is intelligent, strong willed, and who embodies criticism of the middle-class economic and social status of women." -- Publishers Weekly

This story of a young woman's coming of age in a small Midwestern town at the turn of the century, first published in 1922. Challenged by middle-class economic hardship, distrust of her unhappy parents, and the unjust social status of women, the intelligent and strong-willed heroine struggles to attain a sense of herself. Her triumph, as she leaves for college and a career as teacher and writer, is the triumph of all children who refuse to relive the mistakes of their parents.

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Publisher's Weekly Review

Although overwritten in parts and less fluent than prolific Hull's superb Islanders (also revived by Feminist Press), this first novel originally published in 1922 is extraordinary in that, contrary to the literature of its day, it presents a female adolescent who is intelligent, strong-willed and who embodies criticisms of the middle-class family structure and the restricted economic and social status of women. Jean Winthrop, a prodigy, comes of age in an unhappy home where her parents constantly argue about money and about her father's drinking and alleged liaisons. Her mother is hostile to Jean's burgeoning interest in books because she views this as an alliance with her academic, impractical husband. Tender feelings for a female teacher and a sardonic, flirtatious man who is engaged to another woman baffle and pain Jean, who opts for a university education, independence, and equal footing with men in her chosen profession as teacher. ``Women have a hard time,'' she muses, ``but it's because they don't know what they want. Not because they haven't money--although that's part of it. It's more. People need to know more about themselves.'' (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved