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“Rush,” by author Lisa Paton, is a deeply moving story that takes place in modern-day Oxford, Miss., on the Ole Miss campus of University of
“Rush” is primarily about women’s lives but also deals with class, race, equity and inclusion. It looks at the behind-the-scenes lives of sorority members and freshmen going through sorority and fraternity recruitment, also know as “rush.”
The young women in the book come from all social and economic classes. Some have pedigrees; others do not. This story about women is also about women discovering their own voices. The novel addresses the variations in class and background of college students, especially those at large universities which pit old traditions against modern ideas. Yet all appear eager to join a sorority where “sisters” are friends for life.
Ms. Paton takes a sharp look at centuries-old traditions – mentoring, leadership, scholarship, philanthropy and responsibility – while exploring the complex relationships between mothers and daughters, legacy and traditions and female friends whose lives intersect because of their participation in the fictional Alpha Delta Beta sorority.
The story is told from three points of view: Miss Pearl, a Black woman who has been a maid at the sorority house for 25 years; Wilda, an alumni member of the sorority who serves as a Rush Advi sor; and Cali Watkins, a freshman from a small town who wants nothing more than to pledge.
This novel explores questions of race relations and looks at what readers can do to correct, not just reassess, social injustice.