THE SECRET GIFT by A. E. Johnson


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When Arne father marries for the second time, Arne, 23, agrees to make the effort to reach his difficult and enigmatic step-sister, Clementine Norman who, at 12, is a problem both at home and at school. The first part of this well-meaning but terribly obvious novel, by a husband and wife team, is devoted to the demonstration of the change in Clem's character when she responds to a person who is genuinely interested in her for her own sake. But Arne too has his problems: crippled in an automobile accident, he has always been over protected by his father and he's desperate to prove that he can make it on his own. Part II describes Arne's search for himself, in New York, over a period of years and his eventual return to his home town of St. Louis after an operation has made it possible for him to walk again. By this time Clem has a different set of problems that require Arne's attention: too involved with a duck-tailed, high school musician, she has forgotten the kind of worthwhile precepts that Arne was able to make real for her. Eventually, after a suitable number of crises, it becomes apparent that Arne and Clem are most truly themselves with and their future together is hopeful. Soap opera of a trivial sort.

Pub Date: July 21st, 1961
Publisher: Doubleday