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The Room-Mating Season (Jaffe, Rona) [Hardcover]

Rona Jaffe
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Books (April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525947132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525947134
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 16.1 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,185,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Synopsis

A fantastic new romance by Rona Jaffe. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
It was late winter of 1963, and Leigh Owen, who was twenty-three and working as an underpaid secretary at the powerful Star Manage talent agency, was tired of living in a hovel. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Satisfying Read 12 Jun 2003
By Heather Negahdar VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
I always read Rona Jaffe from the time she wrote Class Reunion years ago, and it was such a great novel.
The Room Mating Season introduces us to four (4) young ladies who venture from different parts of the United States to work in New York City where they imagine life will be great fun.
Let me introduce you to Leigh the perfectionist and casting director; Cady the vivacious and resilient school teacher; Vanessa, the 'always on the move and full of fun' stewardess, and finally Susan the mousy and quiet receptionist who never fits into the group no matter what.
In Ms. Jaffe's new novel, we live with the girls from the time they start out as young girls in their early twenties, and experience all their joys, the ups and downs with the men in their lives, along with the struggle for their identities. We are with them as they ease into their adult years which becomes challenging and extremely traumatic. And again through their marriages, even as they pass midle-age and run right into their sixties, where by now they have acquired children and grandchildren.
It was a delightful read with a great diversity in characters you won't forget in a hurry. This book would be an ideal Birthday gift. I recommend it and gave it five stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Typical Rona Jaffe 4 Jun 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read all of Rona Jaffe's books. They are a comforting read as they are nicely written and you get to know the characters. The plots are usually predictable but still enjoyable. Her books are always good.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Nice 12 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Started off nice,easy reading but then they all grew up too fast and got too serious and wordy..nothing like the brilliant The Best ofEverything
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.1 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing! 28 May 2003
By Dizziey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"The Room-Mating Season" deals with four young women, Leigh, Cady, Vanessa and Susan, who all had very different personalities came together to share a room in New York City. They all hoped to be successful and each had a different vision of what "success" is. The book chronicled their lives from early twenties to when they were in their sixties. Leigh, was the rational, career-minded one who strived to be a casting agent while Cady was the romantic, spendrift and at times naive schoolteacher. Vanessa worked as a flight attendant and found the occupation suitable for her needs for adventure and meeting new people. Susan, was the odd one in their group in the sense that she was quiet, eccentric and never quite fit in with the rest. Soon, one event happened that changed their lives forever and the decisions that they would make in future would be based upon that particular event.
The theme of the book is friendship and how they were there for each other through highs and lows. The characters may not understood the decisions some of the decisions that were made but regardless, they were always there for each other. I really enjoy this book because it was written very well, very thoughtful and just mesmerizing. Rona Jaffe also tried to chronicle the lives and mentalities of women in each of the decades starting from the sixties. At the end of the book, you would feel that you really know each of the characters and feel for them. This is not a chick lit book but definitely one written for the female audience. I highly recommend this book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So much potential 9 Dec 2003
By Kristen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Jaffe's latest saga, The Room-Mating Season, has all of the makings of an exciting in-depth story. The story begins with four roommates in early 1960s New York City. Vanessa is a gorgeous flight attendant, Leigh is an aspiring casting agent, Cady is a teacher, and Susan is the misfit who annoys and aggravates the other three. All four of these young women are attempting to find their places in the world and are adapting to a changing society.
This in itself would have made a great novel. However, Jaffe takes us through these women's lives beyond the time spent in their rented brownstone. The decades fly by and there are so many unanswered questions that it's difficult to sympathize or really grasp what has happened in the lives of the characters. I would have liked to have known more about the intricacies and less about the broad pictures that Jaffe chooses to present.
There are pages and pages of seemingly unimportant information, and then...poof! Readers are hit at the end with a startling revelation that isn't really resolved, but is instead hurried into an ending.
All in all, this was a disappointment for me. However, I always enjoy Jaffe's perspective on changing women's roles, especially the sociological aspects of the early years of feminism. This novel would have been better had she stuck to this idea.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing, but somehow left me empty 16 May 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I did enjoy this book. Ms. Jaffe's writing style kept me eagerly turning pages. I was sad for Susan, happy for Leigh, and sorry for both Vanessa and Cady. But their personalities were set at the start of the story, and they didn't change very much over nearly forty years. And at the end I just said, "Well, that's it." I didn't feel like I'd witnessed anything special, just forty years in the three women's lives. Unlike some of the other readers who've posted reviews, I liked the surprise Ms. Jaffe threw in at the end. I don't want to say too much, but the memories these women kept alive for so many years would have been forgotten like last week's newspaper had things gone differently.
I guess I would have liked to have understood Vanessa better. She was such an enigma to me. How does a person become so empty? Cady, whom I felt was pitiful, was much better fleshed out. Leigh's life was too perfect for much space to be devoted to.
I'm not a fan of adultery, but I believe Ms. Jaffe was trying to make a point that some married men really do divorce their wives, while others string girlfriends along as long as they are allowed to.
But yes, I did enjoy this book.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 10 Jun 2003
By Cheer Mom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
When I was much younger, I read the author's book "The Fame Game." At the time, I thought it was one of the best books I had ever read (probably because at 16, I hadn't read many really 'good' books). However, I continued to be a fan of Rona Jaffe's and read all of her subsequent books and was usually entertained with a good story and interesting characters.
Unfortunately, The Room-Mating Season is neither a good story nor does it have compelling characters.
By reading the synopsis, it seems that the book is about 4 girls coming of age in New York City in the early 60's and continuing with their lives through present day (a great premise). Actually, it is really about 3 of the women and one male friend. I found the lead female character, Cady Fineman, so pathetically needy, so filled with jealousy, so immature and unlikeable, that every time a chapter started about Cady, I wanted to skip it.
What amazed me about all of the women in this book is how they so blithely had affairs with married men - and not only were they married men, but they were also much, much older married men (20 years older than the girls). It seems to me like Rona Jaffe has a fixation with older men and younger women. (And thinking back to "The Fame Game" it was also about a much older man having affairs with very young women.) Does she have a father/daughter complex?
With the exception of Leigh, the most stable woman in the group, the other characters do not mature or grow wiser with age. They mourn the loss of their youth because they are not beautiful or desirable to men anymore. Cady ends up desperately trying to pick up younger men to have sex with and Vanessa, because she is no longer desirable to strangers in bars, decides to have an affair with the one man in her life who has always loved her (even though she has the depth of a pickle chip).

This book is so lightweight, it could fly away on a balloon.
This book can be read over the course of a weekend and if I had read this book as a 16 year old, I probably would have liked it. More mature readers however, will probably be disappointed.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars chick lit with way too many flings going on! 21 Jan 2004
By mamareadssomuch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I did like this book but ended up rating it for the kind of book it was and less for the amount of interest I had in it. I gave up and just realized it would be a big book of infidelty and it was a 4 star with that as the main topic. I felt there were way too many flings going on - can't one of these girls date a single guy?
Cady - very annoying, jealous of her friends, and can't live without being incredibly needy. Dates and falls nutso for a married guy, Paul. She enters a LONG relationship with this one and her life passes her by.
Leigh - good at heart, I wanted to believe but then again fell for a married man.
Vanessa - ok but needed to keep having flings to see if she still had it. Please!!!
Susan - ultra freak. You just need to read this book to find out more.
Charlie - fifth wheel? He has some kind of secret..wait till you find out!
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