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The Red Book

A Novel

by Deborah Copaken Kogan

The Red Book
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • Published in USA  Apr 2012
    368 pages
    Genre: Novels

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There are currently 26 reader reviews for The Red Book
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Maggie P. (Mount Airy, MD) (03/18/12)

The Red Book
The premise of the book was wonderful. Catch up with four Harvard graduates as they gather for their 20 year class reunion. I imagined reuniting with three of my good friends from college and catching up on the ensuing years. Would four people thrown together in college be able to gather together again? With that in mind, I eagerly started reading the book. As much as I tried, I just couldn’t make myself care for the characters. I found myself forgetting about it once I put it down. It’s just possible it was too close to chick-lit to completely capture my attention. I still believe the premise should work.
Elisabeth W. (Durham, NC) (03/15/12)

The Red Book
I enjoyed The Red Book, but felt the author worked too hard to make it PC and created too many convenient situations. The group of four women featured in the story were a little hard to believe as a friend group - a privileged WASP, a short Jewish girl, a black girl who grew up in a CA commune and a Vietnamese girl adopted by an American soldier. I had not heard of Harvard's Red Book and enjoyed the author's use of mock Red Book entries to frame each character's past and future. I think this book is targeted to women 35 - 60 who enjoy books in upper middle class or academic settings.
Dawn C. (Meridian, ID) (03/13/12)

The Red Book by Deborah Copaken Kogan
Four roommates from Harvard all have very different lives and keep in touch by the Red Book that comes out every 5 years in which each alumni updates their life story in an autobiographical essay that makes up the class report. Much has changed for each of the girls since 1989 and everything becomes very real when they have their 20th class reunion.
Jinny K. (Fremont, CA) (03/04/12)

Satisfying Reunion Tale
I just love this kind of book and really looked forward to reading it; I was not disappointed.

The centerpiece of the story was a 20th reunion of four Harvard classmates, book-ended by synopses in their reunion chronicles called the Red Book.

The story was well told, the characters, with all their charms and flaws, stayed true throughout the story and there was enough bittersweetness to prevent the ending Red Book entries from being too good to be true.

Thoroughly engaging and enjoyable!
Melissa Y. (Knoxville, TN) (03/04/12)

The Red Book - I Wanted to Like It
I really wanted to like this book, however, it never really grabbed me. The characters came off as shallow and self-absorbed. Their Red Book entries were the best part of the book - seeing the way in which they viewed or, more precisely, wanted others to view their lives. The book was difficult for me to finish and I found myself picking up and putting down the book quite a bit. It was difficult to get through the entire book and if it hadn't been for this review I probably would not have finished it.
Rebecca J. (Knoxville, TN) (03/04/12)

The red book
Every section starts out with some Harvard alumni's bios of what they had been doing the past five years since the last "Red Book" had come out. Then there is a reunion with some of the aforementioned students. Good concept but I wish the author had not included bios of characters who weren't in the book. I got a bit overwhelmed with all the names. Good story but a bit soapy. I did enjoy the epilogue which included entries in the Red Book that appeared 5 years after the novel ended.
Sarah N. (Corte Madera, CA) (02/28/12)

Enjoyed the book
The Red Book by Deborah Copaken Kogan kept me reading straight to the end. I really connected with the characters and wanted to know more about them.
Vicki O. (Boston, MA) (02/27/12)

Pick this one up
It’s the 20th reunion at Harvard for a group of diverse women friends whom we meet initially through their “Red Book” entries. This could have been a run of the mill novel but it is anything but. It’s a terrifically intelligent and funny novel with sharp observations about family, friendship, death, aging, secrets and infidelity. All the characters were very genuine and the dialogue natural, making for a thumbs up reading experience.

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