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When a Texas debutante bows her forehead to the floor in the famous “Texas dip,” society columnists all across the country speculate interminably over what it is that sets Texas women apart. But really, how could they know? Even women born and bred in Texas can’t always answer that question.
Prudence Mackintosh comes very close to an answer, though, in this endlessly entertaining book. Writing with both a wry sense of humor and an insider’s compassion, she offers us a fascinating look into the world of privileged, educated, well-married, well-connected, and mostly wealthy white Texas women.
What really sets these women apart, Ms. Mackintosh tells us, is the comfortable yet demanding path they follow from their idyllic girlhoods to prominent positions in society. In thirteen essays, some of which originally appeared in Texas Monthly magazine, she charts the way stations that mark this path: summer camps in the Texas Hill Country, exclusive private schools like Dallas’ Hockaday, sorority membership, and acceptance into the Junior League.
Prudence Mackintosh has been both an outsider and an insider in this privileged world, and her observations are shot through with wit and real insight. Just As We Were may not be the final word on elite Texas women, but no other book has described their world with greater irony or accuracy.