In late 1970, Oliver Desmarais drops dead in his front yard while hanging Christmas lights. In the year that follows, his widow, Virginia, struggles to find her place on the campus of Clarendon College, the elite men’s college where Oliver was a professor. While Virginia had always shared her husband’s prejudices against the four outspoken, never-married women on the faculty—dubbed The Gang of Four by their male counterparts—she now finds herself depending on them, even joining their work to bring the women’s movement to Clarendon.
Soon, reports of violent protests across the country reach this sleepy New England town, stirring tensions between the fraternal establishment of Clarendon and those calling for change. As authorities attempt to tamp down “radical elements,” Virginia must decide whether she’s willing to put herself and her family at risk for a cause that had never felt like her own.
Told through alternating perspectives, The Wrong Kind of Woman is an engrossing story of grief and renewal, of shedding old identities and finding new ways to belong, beautifully woven against the backdrop of the rapid changes of the early Seventies.