Machine Dreams begins with Jean Hampson's letter to her daughter, describing her own childhood and her relationship with her mother, Gracie Danner. Jean's youth seems to have been characterized by loss and hopelessness: Her fiance" died of a heart attack, her mother died of cancer, her brother married and moved away, and always Jean was alone. Jean appears to be typical of many women in the 1950s and 1960s. To escape her loneliness, she marries and devotes herself to homemaking, abandoning her ambition to become a nurse. Eventually, though, she becomes dissatisfied and begins...
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