A Girl’s Guide to Modern European Philosophy by Charlotte Grieg
Susannah is a British college student in the 1970s studying Philosophy. She lives with her older, more financially stable boyfriend Jason, but the relationship has soured of late. It isn’t that she and Jason fight, exactly, but neither of them seems particularly interested in the other any longer. Susannah spends a great deal of time wondering if she fancies the different men that wander through her life and being generally snotty about people living on campus.
Eventually, Susannah realizes that the boy in her Philosophy class has a crush on her and ends up sleeping with him. At this point, Susannah’s life really becomes difficult. Rob wants to have a relationship with Susannah, wants her to leave Jason, but she cannot decide between who she prefers. Sleeping with both Jason and Rob and unable to remember to take her birth control pills everyday, it is only a matter of time before Susannah ends up pregnant and must decide whether or not to keep her baby.
I was not super enamored of this book at the beginning, mostly because I found Susannah rather obnoxious. She seemed frivolous and shallow beyond the realms of most college students (at least the ones with whom I was acquainted). Her friends and boyfriend were even more obnoxious, particularly Jason who was 30 and should have grown up a bit by this point. I also wasn’t seeing how philosophy really fit strongly into her life.
However, I started to really enjoy the book after Susannah got pregnant, even if I didn’t agree with the opinions of all the characters about her pregnancy. At that point, Susannah grew up a lot and became more serious. In addition, she started to really apply the philosophy she was learning to the events of her life.
From a slow start, I ended up thinking this a very worthwhile read.