I have a variety of history books and novels set between the 1940s through the 1980s. Being the summer-loving person that I am, my eyes caught this book’s front cover of two young women sunbathing in vintage bathing suits. Autobiography of Us is Aria Beth Sloss’ first book, but it is well written as if she published other high-praised works. The preview at the back cover held on to me, so I had to read it entirely during my summer vacation.
Autobiography of Us is about two teenagers who meet at a Pasadena high school in 1958. Alex is not afraid to follow her dreams or speak her mind, and Rebecca is shy and intelligent. Some readers said it was impossible for such distinct people to become friends, but I find it believable. Their personalities may be different but they admire and fill the parts that each of them lack. This is particularly true for Rebecca who described Alex’s impact on her as “though life were a Christmas tree and I’d discovered the hidden switch, the whole thing lighting up in a blaze of color.” Their strong bond lasts for decades until a life-changing event.
The book goes through the many phases of adolescence and adulthood for women: their relationship with their parents, with society during the changing ’60s, their lives as housewives and their inner evolutions. Rebecca and Alex tried to break the glass toward their own happiness without society’s approval and they learned from their mistakes. They search for the true love their husbands didn’t offer and ultimately discover the sisterly love and care sparked by their friendship.