Daughters of Eve

Finished Daughters of Eve by Lois Duncan.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Sworn to secrecy. Bound by loyalty.

It’s the high school’s most exclusive club–but now a twisted mind is leading it. Who will be the first victim?

From Amazon.com: “The girls at Modesta High School feel like they’re stuck in some anti-feminist time warp-they’re faced with sexism at every turn, and they’ve had enough. Sponsored by their new art teacher, Ms. Stark, they band together to form the Daughters of Eve. It’s more than a school club-it’s a secret society, a sisterhood. At first, it seems like they are actually changing the way guys at school treat them. But Ms. Stark urges them to take more vindictive action, and it starts to feel more like revenge-brutal revenge. Blinded by their oath of loyalty, the Daughters of Eve become instruments of vengeance. Can one of them break the spell before real tragedy strikes?”

In this book, a select group of students are part of an exclusive club at their high school, the Daughters of Eve.  It’s sort of a secret society, and they have a new teacher as the faculty advisor.  The girls LOVE the teacher but the boys tend to think she’s a little weird.  Anyway.  So the girls slowly start to become aware of sexism (Dad’s career is taken more seriously than Mom’s; the “slut/player” dynamic in high school relationships, etc.) and decide to start playing pranks to settle the score.  What begins as relatively harmless pranks (although none of them are really harmless at all) quickly turn into dangerous and really mean-spirited.

Some reviews slam this book as being anti-feminist, but really, I think it’s more of a commentary on how dangerous the mob mentality can be.  These are smart girls—and nice girls—and none of them would do something like this on their own.  But throw a group of people together and people are braver (and dumber) than they may otherwise be.

And, also, as a feminist, it’s sad that this is still true.  (This book was originally written in the 1970s, I think, but even now, women do more housework and child care than men do, even if both work outside the home.)

I have most of Lois Duncan’s novels (both updated and original versions) and I’m very excited to continue reading them.  It’s taking me a while (so many great books!) but I’ll get there.


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