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From the Dustjacket–
Rhine Maidens is a beautifully written novel about an emotional legacy passed from parent to child, a failure of love that both divides and unites women of two generations.
At twenty, Grace had a 20-inch waist, long auburn hair, a job in downtown Los Angeles, and all the world before her. She married a man she loved and was supposed to live happily ever after. But her husband left her for another woman. Now in her sixties, she lives alone in a small California town and lies awake at night listening to the sound of the oil wells, counting her disappointments and waiting for something else to go wrong.
Garnet is one of Grace’s disappoints and has spent much of her life trying to please – or at least pacify – her mother. She’s a mother now herself, with a successful husband and a nice home in Brentwood. She shops at I. Magnin, gardens and plays bridge, takes courses at UCLA. She’s happy. What happened to her mother could never happen to her. And then it does happen.
Rhine Maidens is the story of two women caught in a sexual history that passes from one generation to the next. Carolyn See captures with rare intimacy and insight the frustrations – and triumphs – of women struggling with the loss of love, and observes with an affectionate yet unflinching eye the casual Southern California life, past and present, of which they are part.