If We Are Womenby Joanna M. Glass
THE STORY: Two grandmothers, a daughter, and a granddaughter gather on the deck of a beach house in Connecticut. One grandmother has flown, for the first time, from the Canadian prairie. She is an illiterate woman whose parents were homesteading pioneers. "If only I had gotten my eighth grade diploma." Her daughter is a novelist whose lover died recently. "If only I had a college degree." The second grandmother has driven up from Pennsylvania. She is an agnostic Jewish intellectual with a Master's degree. "If only I had gone to Oxford." The granddaughter is eighteen and is slated to go to Yale in the autumn. After staying out all night with a young man, she arrives on the scene to announce a reversal of plans. The three older women discuss their pasts and presents poetically, poignantly and humorously as they attempt to pass down the wisdom of their years. When the granddaughter disregards all that she hears, the prairie grandmother observes that "every time a kid is born, we start from zero."
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