“Just like words can't adequately describe falling in love for the first time, they could never succeed in portraying the brilliance of "Anthropology of an American Girl."
“With each sentence written in perfect pitch, her words overwhelm and stimulate, while providing a deep satisfaction that makes you savor the lengthiness of the book,whose magic stays with you.”
Just like words can't adequately describe falling in love for the first time, they could never succeed in portraying the brilliance of Anthropology of an American Girl, a coming of- age novel that is sure to secure a place in the annals of ground-breaking fiction. Hamann's writing is crafted with unparalleled radiance. Her words float through you, hitting that nerve that wavers between nostalgia and hope.
Eveline Auerbach, the 17-year-old narrator, is a precocious, introspective girl who lives in East Hampton with a bohemian mother and her traveling boyfriend, Powell. Her childhood friend Kate, a conventionally beautiful blonde, has been a constant in Evie's life, growing up by her side on the beaches and charming streets of their seaside town. Like sisters, the girls go through their days reflecting their inner most thoughts and dreams off of each other. When Kate's French-born mother dies from cancer, Evie is devastated by the loss of the woman who nurtured her in a way her own mother did not. Kate moves into the Auerbach home and the girls embark on their senior year of high school, supporting each other through their grief.
Eveline's intellectual, troubled, boyfriend, Jack, frames her quest to conquer life's meaning. His philosophical, anti-establishment demeanor defines Evie in many ways, challenging her to look at the world with fresh eyes each day, but also preventing her from growing into the woman she strives to be. When a new drama teacher, Harrison Rourke, comes to their school to direct the theater club's performance of Our Town, his commanding presence overwhelms Evie, leading to unforeseen events that will forever change Eveline's life.
After an unforgettable last summer home, during which Evie and Kate begin to drift apart, Evie leaves East Hampton to begin college at NYU. She falls into a loveless relationship with an arrogant, wealthy acquaintance who wines and dines her all over Manhattan and provides a charmed life for her, including drivers, society events, and the chance to show her own art work.Thrust into a life that she does not recognize, Evie plays the role with a flawlessness that fools all those around her. As her college years pass, she retreats further inside of herself, wilting from her refusal to admit her true emotions. Ultimately, she must decide how much of herself she is willing to give up.
Though the plot of Anthropology seems typical, the exquisite delivery of Hamann's prose makes it anything but. With each sentence written in perfect pitch, her words overwhelm and stimulate, while providing a deep satisfaction that makes you savor the lengthiness of the book, whose magic stays with you.