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Cynthia Steps Out by Erick Berry

Cynthia Steps Out is a novel written by Erick Berry and first published in 1931.

The story is set in New York City during the Roaring Twenties and follows the life of Cynthia Baird, a young woman who is determined to break free from the constraints of her wealthy and conservative family.

The novel begins with Cynthia’s graduation from Bryn Mawr College, where she excels both academically and socially. However, despite her success, Cynthia feels restless and unfulfilled. She yearns for something more than the life of privilege and comfort that her family has planned for her.

As she begins to explore the city, Cynthia meets a variety of different people, including artists, writers, and musicians. She is drawn to their bohemian lifestyle and their rejection of conventional social norms. Cynthia begins to experiment with her own identity, cutting her hair short and wearing more daring clothing.

One of the key themes of the novel is the conflict between tradition and modernity. Cynthia’s family represents the old-fashioned values of the upper class, while Cynthia herself represents the new and rebellious spirit of the times. This conflict is heightened by Cynthia’s relationship with her cousin, Christopher, who is a traditionalist and disapproves of her wild behavior.

As Cynthia continues to explore her newfound freedom, she begins to face a series of challenges. She experiences heartbreak and betrayal in her relationships with men, and she also struggles to reconcile her desire for independence with her love for her family. However, she remains determined to follow her own path and make her mark on the world.

Throughout the novel, Cynthia is a complex and multi-dimensional character. She is intelligent, ambitious, and fiercely independent, but she also has moments of self-doubt and vulnerability. Her struggles and triumphs are a reflection of the changing times and the evolving roles of women in society.

One of the strengths of the novel is its vivid portrayal of the cultural and social milieu of the 1920s. The book captures the excitement and energy of the era, as well as its darker side, including the excesses of the wealthy and the struggles of the working class.

Overall, Cynthia Steps Out is a timeless and engaging novel that explores themes of identity, rebellion, and social change. The book is well-written and features a cast of colorful and memorable characters. Fans of historical fiction and coming-of-age stories are sure to enjoy this classic novel.

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