Mutual Life & Casualty


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By: Elizabeth Poliner
Mutual Life and Casualty is a 70s and 80s era coming of age story of two sisters, Hannah and Carolyn Kahn, who have a lot to contend with. More than anything, they face the dark cloud of their parents’ fragile marriage: a workaholic insurance salesman father and shopaholic mother who would like to leave her loveless marriage but is too scared to do so. Add to that the ongoing social pressures of the time: women’s changing roles, Vietnam’s lingering pall, and families breaking apart generally. Being the only jewish family in town further complicates the sisters€’ lives. These interwoven stories integrate the lives of Hannah and Carolyn with those of several other town members.


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