Gibbon’s Decline and Fall

Posted by barb on Apr 27, 2004 in Books |

by Sheri S. Tepper

The Decline and Fall Club (DFC) is a tight-knit group of diverse women who met and bonded in college. They vowed to never decline nor fall (based on the title of Gibbon’s book The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire). Carolyn becomes a lawyer, Agnes a nun (as she had planned before entering college), Faye a sculptor (despite her killer voice), Jessamine a biologist, and Betty a wealthy wife running several charitable foundations. Then there was Sophy. The rest of the group was never quite sure how to take Sophy. They loved her dearly, but was always a bit of a mystery. They suspected that she was a Native American, and they knew she was stunningly beautiful. However, Sophy never liked her beauty, and even just a look from a man made her feel used. She was clearly confused and confounded by the way women were treated in society. At some point, as the DFC saw it, Sophy did decline and fall.

However, a few years later, when suicide cults were on the rise and hooded men chased young women from the streets, and odd sort of resistance started. The DFC couldn’t help but wonder if Sophy was somehow involved. Perhaps they were all involved in some way.

Once again Tepper gives us a well crafted, compelling story with great, strong female characters. She gets preachy in this novel, but I don’t care because I was so carried away by the characters.

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