The Majority by Elizabeth L. Silver
Inspired by history, a riveting novel of love and friendship, motherhood and ambition, and one woman’s fight to be a Supreme Court justice.
Half of the United States is waiting for Justice Sylvia Olin Bernstein to die. The other half is praying for her to hold on. At 83, “the contemptuous S.O.B.” doesn’t have much time left. What she has is a story, one she has wrested from the grip of history to tell herself—of how she rose to her historic position on the Supreme Court, and the barriers she broke along the way.
Told over fifty years, from losing her mother at a young age, to falling in love, to navigating an unplanned pregnancy and motherhood, to learning how to spar with a sexist mentor, Sylvia’s personal story reveals the intimate truth about who she was as she ascended to her modern throne: not just a brilliant mind, but a daughter, a best friend, a wife, mother, and advocate. While caught in a dramatic tug of war between career and family, truth and convenience, progress and patience, she will be given a chance to change the course of American history – and give voice, at last, to the majority.
Set against the vibrant sweep of the 20th century, THE MAJORITY brings us into the sacrifices, heartaches, and complex emotional life of a powerful woman ahead of her time, whose life and work turn out to have supreme stakes.
Year first published: 2023