Reading Group Center

J. Courtney Sullivan’s Celebrated Debut Novel

On May 11th, Commencement, J. Courtney Sullivan’s debut novel arrives in paperback. Commencement is a sparkling tale of friendship and a fascinating portrait of the first generation of women who have all the opportunities in the world, but no clear idea about what to choose.

Assigned to the same dorm their first year at Smith College, Celia, Bree, Sally, and April couldn’t have less in common. Celia, a lapsed Catholic, arrives with a bottle of vodka in her suitcase; beautiful Bree pines for the fiancé she left behind in Savannah; Sally, preppy and obsessively neat, is reeling from the loss of her mother; and April, a radical, redheaded feminist wearing a “Riot: Don’t Diet” T-shirt, wants a room transfer immediately. Written with radiant style and a wicked sense of humor, Commencement follows these unlikely friends through college and the years beyond, brilliantly capturing the complicated landscape facing young women today.

“One of the year’s most inviting summer novels…. Strong, warmly believable three-dimensional characters who have fun, have fights and fall into intense love affairs.” —The New York Times

“Wickedly sharp…. Ms. Sullivan’s voice is funny and smart…. A fun, fresh… insightful read.” —The New York Observer

Click here for an excerpt.

Click here for a reading group guide.

Click here to buy the book.