Types. When I finished reading J. Courtney Sullivan’s debut novel, Commencement, I stared at the closed book and thought, “huh?” I am willing to accept that a male reader may just not get it when it comes to an exploration of the relationship among four women, but even with that acceptance, I’m not sure that the personality types presented in these characters are recognizable in the real world. April, Bree, Celia and Sally meet when they arrive at Smith for freshman year in the late 1990s. Sullivan stereotypes them as students, and then carries their lives forward to the post-college years. I never quite empathized with any character, so no matter what happened to them, I found myself not caring. If you’re willing to take a chance on a debut novel, and have some interest in college and early adult female relationships, you may find something to like in Commencement.
Rating: Two-star (Mildly Recommended)