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Publisher's Summary

This radiant debut novel from J. Courtney Sullivan examines the deep bonds of friendship and the complex landscape facing today’s young women. Celia, Bree, Sally, and April arrive at Smith College as four very different people. But the years bring them closer together, and once they graduate and face the real world, they realize they need each other more than ever.

©2009 J. Courtney Sullivan (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Sullivan’s debut crackles with intelligent observations about the inner sanctum of the all-women’s elite (yet scholarship-laden) college life." (Booklist)
“The author manages to find that sweet spot between Serious Literature and chick lit. Commencement is a beach book for smart women–and the girls they once were.” (Entertainment Weekly)
“Sullivan tells an involving story of four students from different backgrounds who share quarters at Smith College. It sounds trite, but it isn’t. The women change the course of their lives of the years in dramatic ways.... Chick lit with depth and engagement.” (New York Daily News)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    33
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    55
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    36
  • 2 Stars
    22
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    7

Performance

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
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    25
  • 4 Stars
    33
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    18
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    13
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    7

Story

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    26
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    36
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Sort by:
  • Overall

What an amazing journey....

There is an old adage that says "friends are the family you choose" and it could not be more true in Commencement. For anyone who has been fortunate enough to experience those types of relationships this book will remind you of your blessings. The story takes you many different places physically, emotionally, spiritually and politically. It was a great listen and I'm glad I spent a credit on it. It was the best thing I have listened to since The Help. While I'm not sure if anything can compare to The Help, Commencement ranks up there and provides its own (more current) challenges that face women in our world. I so look forward to following Courtney Sullivans literary career.... Cant wait for more!!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • scimone
  • South Windsor, CT, United States
  • 01-02-12

college memories

What did you love best about Commencement?

This book makes you think back to your college days and friendships.Female to female sexual parts are involved so may not be for some people

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Meg
  • san Francisco, CA, United States
  • 10-30-10

Nothing Special, but entertaining

At least sustained me for a while...if you want an easy listen, go for it. Definitely chick lit.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Snuck up on me!

This book reminded me of all that women should cherish and all that we allow to be destroyed by others. Almost lost interest in early chapters because who can relate to this elitist college group, but so glad I kept listening.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Voice of narrator misleading

The story was good. It ended to quickly w unanswered questions.

The voice of the narrator was clearly an older woman however the characters were in their 20's so it was very difficult to get in to the story based on the very inaccurate sound of her voice.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

starts great - but is rather predictable

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Sure I was driving and it did keep my attention.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The premise was intriguing - but it was rather predictable and then got a little tiresome.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Whomever hired the voice performer should be fired

What did you like best about this story?

The evolution of the characters and the feminist twist.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Christina Moore?

Anyone!!! This is a book about young women and her voice is NOT reflective of this at all! Particularly disturbing are her interpretations of Celia and April. I actually hate this performance so much I am going to read the rest of the book instead.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • A. ricci
  • San Francisco, CA United States
  • 11-04-11

Horrid

Truly one of the worst books I've ever "read". The story makes Smith students out to be immature, sex crazed, lesbian, angry and STUPID women.

So many stereotypes in this book it made me sick.

Also, the author didn't know her locations....saying one woman road up to Novato, California form SF and admired the palm trees and wished she had taken the train? no plam trees in this part of northern California and no train to Novato. Try some research, Smith Wannabe

The narrator TRIED but made the lesbians sound like men and the southern woman sound retarded.

A disaster of a book. Author needs to get a real job.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

That was the end??

I did lilke this book, I really did. Not a life changer, but a good chick book. However...there I was..listening away and hadn't paid attention to how much time was left and "The End". What?? It's over?? Not a good ending...way too many opened things that could have been cleared up. Having said that...give it a listen, it's not a bad story at all. Good performance, too.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Yates
  • East Windsor, NJ, United States
  • 06-25-11

I loved it!

My only complaint was the ending. Sort of like "The Sopranos" in that you were not ready for it to be over and were left saying, "What???" Ms. Sullivan, will you write a sequel? I so hope so! I love your work! Can't wait to begin Maine!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful