Aria Beth Sloss, author of Autobiography of Us (Holt, Feb.), points to a significant milestone: the 50th anniversary of the publication of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique. She notes, “I wish I could say my book celebrates the revolution her book set into motion, but the truth is that it ultimately reflects my frustration with how little has changed. We may have found a name for the problem Friedan identified in her pages all those decades ago, but that doesn’t mean we’ve come close to fixing it.”

The 34-year-old Sloss’s debut recounts the formation of a friendship between two girls in Pasadena, Calif., in the 1960s, and the impact that friendship has in later years. The author, a graduate of Yale and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, says the novel sprang from her interest in “the idea that there was an entire group of women history had passed over, women who’d been born too late to accept their mothers’ fates as their own but too early—by a margin of just a few years—to benefit from the changes that swept through the U.S. at the end of the 1960s and into the early 1970s. Once I identified those women as a group, I couldn’t help seeing their fate as one of the great casualties of American history.”

Editor Sarah Bowlin acquired the novel, which will have a 40,000-copy first printing, from agent Claudia Ballard at William Morris Endeavor. She, too, was struck by the concept of “a generation of women who fell through the cracks.” Bowlin adds, “Sloss has the rare ability to spin a wrenching, moving story while simultaneously juggling interesting ideas, and that’s the kind of novel I will swoon for every time.”