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a novel by RUTH HARRIS

“Three generations of women are succinctly capsuled in this novel by a writer who has all the intellect of Mary McCarthy, all the insight of Joan Didion.  Rarely have attitudes been so probingly examined — tough, trenchant, chic and ultra-sophisticated, Ms. Harris recreates the decades in which her heroines lived, from zoot suits and Sammy Kaye, through Eisenhower, Elvis and poodle-cut hairdos to moon walks, Mick Jagger and micro-minis.  Hers is a brilliant book, and while some readers may be discomfited by its analysis, few will fail to be entertained and few will be able to forget what it has to say about men and women and the games people play.”
—Fort Worth Star-Telegram

— Women Today Book Club


Evelyn — She wanted what she thought every woman wanted:  to be a good wife and loving mother but now she was a woman with traditional values trapped in a marriage gone sour, struggling to cope with a straying husband and a rebellious daughter.

Barbara — She felt she could — and should — have it all:  including another woman’s husband.  She was divorced and desirable, “the other woman” who threatened Evelyn’s marriage but who would, in turn, find her own marriage under threat.  She wondered: Would the man who had left his wife for her going to leave her, too?

Joy — Evelyn’s daughter, a child of turbulent times, lost and still searching, determined to create a life as different from her mother’s as possible.  “I want to try everything:  all the highs and I don’t even mind the lows.  But I’ll kill myself if I end up like my mother —”

Evelyn, Barbara, Joy—Three modern women, their attitudes formed by three tumultuous decades, bound together by their passion for one self-made man — Nat Baum.  He was ambitious and duplicitous, a doting father and uncertain husband, the ambitious renegade whose boundaries were defined only by the limits of his own imagination.


“Women will be moved and fascinated to see how precisely Ruth Harris evokes the feeling of what it was like to grow up female in the innocence of the 1940’s, the movie-formed dreams of the 1950’s, the anarchy and disilluson of the 1960’s.  All the details are here — the songs, the headlines, the national preoccupations, even the underwear, from dropping slip straps to the armor or crinolines to braless T-shirts.”
—New York Magazine  

“Absolutely perfect…Will have three generations of American women reliving their love lives and recognizing ruefully and with wry affection just what changes have overtaken them —”
—Publisher’s Weekly

“Ruth Harris has re-created both the style and substance of three decades of American life — from the bobby socks and innocence of the Forties, to the crinolines and caution of the Fifties, to the bra-less T-shirts and alienation of the Sixties.”
— Book-of-the-Month Club

“I read DECADES straight through at one sitting and the more I think about that, the more impressive the novel seems.”
— Houston Post


Millions of copies of Ruth Harris’ New York Times bestselling novels have been published.  Her fiction has been translated into 19 languages, published in 25 countries and selected by the Literary Guild and Book-of-the Month Club.  Ruth Harris' novels HUSBANDS AND LOVERS and LOVE AND MONEY are also available in Kindle editions.

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    • First Edition
    • Feb-1979
    • Arrow (UK)
    • Paperback
    • ISBN: 0417038607
    • ISBN13: 9780417038605


View the Complete R. Harris Book List