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In Ten North Frederick Ann Chapin goes to live in New York.  In 1935 Ann did what young women continued to do up through the end of the sixties. The ritual gradually changed and declined with the advent of women's liberation and the sexual revolution. Women stopped staying at protective chaperoned hotels. They had more and better employment opportunities. I was there. I saw this. 

This is social history at its finest, flawlessly described.

   Ann was one of a thousand, and many more than a thousand, girls of good family who were living in New York, working in New York, getting from their jobs some sense of belonging to something besides the Junior League and the country club, which were the community in which they would have lived back home in Dayton, in Charlotte, in Kansas City, in Gibbsville. Each girl thought she was living according to her own plan, but there were so many like her that a pattern had developed. They would go to New York, stay at one of the women's residential hotels until the search for a job, any respectable job, was successfully ended. "I thought I'd go to secretarial school and do some modeling." The job found, the next move was to find an apartment with a girl of similar background and tastes and not much more and not much less money at her disposal. Sometimes the apartment would start with three girls instead of two, but a three-girl arrangement almost never worked out. In the first year or two the girl would be invited to dinner at the home of Mother's and Dad's New York friends, and then the Friends of the Family would forget all about the girl from Dayton and Charlotte and Kansas Cityand Gibbsville, and she would begin to make her own life with office friends and friends of office friends and young men who had grown up in Kansas City or Gibbsville, attended Choate and Williams, had jobs in New York and, usually, considerably less money to spend than the girls.

Ann roomed with Kate Drummond, who had a brief affair with Ann's father, Joe Chapin.
In the movie version of the novel Gary Cooper was Joe Chapin (perfectly cast) and the beautiful supermodel Suzy Parker was Kate. Suzy Parker retired from modeling, married, moved to Connecticut and raised several children. She died several years ago.

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