The Group (VMC Book 376) and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Buy New

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Buy Used
Used - Very Good See details
Price: £2.80

More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading The Group (VMC Book 376) on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Group (VMC) [Paperback]

Mary McCarthy , Candace Bushnell
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.99
Price: £6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
You Save: £2.70 (30%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Friday, 3 Oct.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £5.49  
Hardcover --  
Paperback £6.29  
Unknown Binding --  
Audio Download, Unabridged £17.25 or Free with 30-day free trial

Book Description

3 Dec 2009 VMC (Book 376)

THE GROUP follows eight graduates from exclusive Vassar College as they find love and heartbreak, forge careers, gossip and party in 1930s Manhattan.

THE GROUP can be seen as the original SEX AND THE CITY. It is the first novel to frankly portray women's real lives, exploring subjects such as sex, contraception, motherhood and marriage.

Frequently Bought Together

The Group (VMC) + How To Stay Sane: The School of Life
Price For Both: £11.88

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; Penguin 1966 edition. edition (3 Dec 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844085937
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844085934
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


The perfect example of competitive friendship and a reminder that rivalry is normal (Psychologies)

*'A brilliant novel:honest, engaging and sharp as a tack (Sarah Waters)

*'One of my favourite books ever (India Knight)

Lively, vivid and exceedingly entertaining (SUNDAY TIMES)

Juicy, shocking, witty, and almost continually brilliant (COSMOPOLITAN)

Book Description

The original SEX AND THE CITY. First published in 1963, THE GROUP, set in the 1930s, follows the lives of eight college friends as they begin their adult lives.

'A brilliant novel:honest, engaging and sharp as a tack' Sarah Waters

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Group tells the story of 8 girls in 1933. 5 Sep 1999
By A Customer
The Group, by Mary McCarthy
The Group is the best-known of all novels written by Mary McCarthy. This glamorous American intellectual has Catholic, Jewish and Protestant origins, which inspired her recollection of childhood Memories of a Catholic Girlhood. She was married to the famous critic Edmund Wilson, and played an outstanding role in the jet-set of Letters in the United States at the time. The Group is a novel which is bound to be of interest mainly to women readers. It tells the story of 8 girls who start life after university, in 1933. However, it doesn't turn out to be outdated at all. These 8 women are all very different. They all studied at Vassar, but their families are not all that rich, especially because of the Depression, a topic very much discussed by most of the characters, who don't agree completely with Roosevelt policies. These girls differ also in personality, and therefore they settle down in very different jobs and marriages. Mary McCarthy covers their lives until 1940, and this allows her to cover as well a very wide range of issues: contraception, the theoretical points in the upbringing of children, the loss of virginity, the hassle of housework and early married life, loneliness, lesbianism, adultery... We even get a very funny and ironical picture of a young woman writer as she tries to make her way through the obstacles of the editorial world... It seems that Mary McCarthy has chosen fragmentary structure (each chapter is centred on one of the girls) and multiple character with the intention to show all the different aspects of the lives of contemporary women. Thus, what we get is not really several particular women, but the image of the new Woman. However, the novel is very entertaining and it achieves its objective.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem of a book 4 July 2010
I'm quite surprised at the negative comments in the reviews for this book. I haven't even finished it yet but feel compelled to write a review. I am loving this book - it is a real gem. The themes it covers: sex, marriage, relationships, motherhood, breastfeeding, mental health, and friendships are as relevant today as they must have been 80 years ago. I only wish I'd found this book when I was in my early twenties. I have found this book hard to put down and I haven't got to the end yet. It isn't a light read (and I think the references to Sex And The City a little misleading - there are similarities - a bunch of young women coping with life and men in New York) but I am thoroughly enjoying this book and hope to read it again one day.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars not dated at all 6 Oct 2011
By Jool
The writing feels surprisingly modern. Made me think of Ayn Rand and Edith Wharton in a way. I love the way Mary McCarthy allows her characters time to talk and think, and their different perspectives. But still not a word too much. Can't wait to read more of her books.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant read 9 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When I read this book, when I was sixteen, in the sixties it made a lasting impression. It is a book I have intended to reread over the years. The reread did not disappoint. The characters are vivid, the setting is now significantly historical. It reminds me of Jane Austen in 1930s USA.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A challenging read 11 May 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have picked this up more than once and considered reading it - even started it on one occasion. I gave up -but this time, because it was a book group suggestion, I stuck with it. It is not an easy read, but it is rewarding. I am so glad I persevered, and now understand why it's stood the test of time and considered an important book.
I wouldn't call it a feminist book. It's about a group of Vassar educated women of the 1930s, and the society they inhabited and how the issues of those days affected their lives. Believe me, those issues resonate today, and probably did for our mothers, and probably will for our daughters- particularly those about child rearing and feeding.
Some of the characters I found tedious and annoying, but I think they were bravely meant to be. Most were moving and some were uplifting and funny. This book is a complex, intricate, many shaded work of verbal tapestry, and if you read it I wonder which character will appeal to you most and why. That question was so entertainingly answered at our book group.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent social history of a forgotten era 1 April 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When I broke my arm on a recent ski trip I met an extremely nice lady sitting next to me in a mountain-top bar who was also unable to ski. I discovered she was the former literary editor of the Mail on Sunday and she what I was reading (Wedlock by Wendy Moore - excellent book) and similarly I asked her what she was reading. "The Group" she replied and talked very highly of it. I thought that if it was a recommendation from the former literary editor of the Mail on Sunday I should definitely read it.

I'm so glad she recommended it. I struggled a bit through the first chapter trying to get into it but because I can't drive at the moment I have a bit more time on my hands so I was able to read chunks rather than a few pages at a time. This is definitely a book that you need to take time to read. There are few breaks, the chapters are long and there are long paragraphs. Once I'd accepted the layout I quickly got into the book.

I didn't go to university, much less in 30's America but this book conjures up such descriptive images of the social etiquette of the day, the fashions, politics, literature and more. Mary McCarthy went to Vassar herself in the 30's so I'm sure much of what she has written was based on fact. Pre-marital sex, affairs, one night stands, contraception, relationships it's all here. The language too is very much of the day although the book was first published in 1963. I can completely understand why it went into the bestsellers list and stayed there for 2 years.

I am not a fan of Sex in the City but this book is exactly that but circa 1930's NYC. I will definitely read this again which I rarely do.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 15 days ago by xxx
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Bought as gift
Published 1 month ago by Linda Durman
4.0 out of 5 stars The Group
Another Book Club choice, which was interesting for it's character portrayals, and the reverses of fortunes they experienced in the course of the story
Published 8 months ago by Jill Gillian
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
I can understand why this book was called controversial in its time. I cannot however, see how it is a must read book. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Rachel
4.0 out of 5 stars Girls in the thirties
Mary McCarthy brings out the different characters of her group of girls starting life after college in New England in a splendid way with lots of fun and humour. Read more
Published 12 months ago by E. Woolley
5.0 out of 5 stars The more things change the more they stay the same
Nothing much has changed since these girls graduated from university! We are still struggling with work life balance and societal pressure to stay at home.
Published 15 months ago by C
2.0 out of 5 stars It put me to sleep every time i picked it up
I found there were too many characters at the beginning so difficult to get into. Then the story is very much out of date.
Published 15 months ago by Margaret Donohue
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read if you have alot of spare time
Thought I would love this book as its about a group of woman in the 1930's but I found it sometimes interesting when I could get into a character & at other times tedious. Read more
Published 16 months ago by maria-luisa puig
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic characters
Mary McCarthy tells the story of this group of young women graduating from university in 1930s America by each character narrating her own chapter. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Lizzie Dee
3.0 out of 5 stars I found it hard to read in places and so many characters to remember
This may be a classic but I got to the end and was a bit indifferent. Hard going in places and so many characters, had to keep flicking back through pages to remind myself of who... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Carpe Diem
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category