Bennington Girls Are Easy

The trust-fund bohemians at Vermont’s bucolic Bennington College excel in many extracurriculars: advanced bisexuality, the anatomy of leotards, artisanal cupcake production. More practical life skills, however, don’t seem to be on the syllabus. In Silver’s archly mannered coming-of-age novel, best friends and fresh Bennington grads Cassandra and Sylvie land in Manhattan prepared to fulfill their bright, unblemished destinies. Reality, though, has other plans for these daughters of privilege; they’re like characters from a Whit Stillman movie wandering blindly into a House of Mirth morality tale. Silver can be a clever and even lyrical writer, but her silly, self-absorbed Girls are too-easy targets. B–