Braided Lives – by Marge Piercy
Jill and Donna are cousins and lifelong best friends but could not be more different. Despite their contrasting characters, fiercely independent, dark, street-smart Jill and pretty, blond, alluring Donna are very close, attending college together in Ann Arbor and then moving to New York City after graduation. Ultimately veering onto different life paths, they both experience love, betrayal, friendship, pain, independence, and fear. Though their fates differ as widely as their personalities, both reflect the danger that sex poses for women during a time in which abortions are illegal: an affair could destroy a woman’s life, and a chance encounter or a night of love could be a matter of life and death. Spanning 20 years and teeming with vivid characters, this poignant novel tells the powerful, unsentimental story of two young women coming of age in a time of enormous social upheaval.