In this sequel to I Take Thee Serenity (1975), Newman returns to her pure-hearted American Quakers--with an elderly romance...



In this sequel to I Take Thee Serenity (1975), Newman returns to her pure-hearted American Quakers--with an elderly romance that's genteel and gentle to the point of dead calm. Oliver Otis, 78, grandson of Serenity of I Take Thee . . . . is a widower in love--with widow Loveday Mead, 72, ex-Dean of a college in her native Kansas. But Loveday's very unlike Oliver's late wife, famed painter Daphne, who was always so open, sweetly patient and giving. Indeed, stubbornly independent and assertive, Loveday is a lonely soul, closed off emotionally even from her children. Still, on her increasingly frequent visits to Oliver's Firbank, R.I., farm, Loveday is drawn to his quiet goodness . . . and becomes involved in some family puzzlements involving young cousin Rennie, her husband Peter, and their three-year-old son Ross--who live with Oliver. Rennie's insistence on her own career advancement--while she leaves Ross at nursery school or with Oliver--gets Loveday's feminist approval. But what about Rennie's opportunity to be curator of the Daphne Otis collection at a New York museum? Would Peter go along? And what about little Ross-who adores Oliver but misses his mother? ""Be still and cool,"" advises Oliver, quoting from George Fox's Journal. And Loveday begins to succumb to the Quaker way of selflessness in service, in family life--and in marriage: she reviews her own unhappy marriage, appalled by her lack of giving; she declines Oliver's proposal, flies to Salzburg for feminist research on Mozart's sister Nannerl. (She's a bit cross that Oliver has summoned his daughter Heather from England for a look at Loveday.) But Salzburg offers a burst of revelations about Nannerl, about Loveday, and about living in general: ""Never turn away from selfless love."" So it all ends with a Kansas love-lest as Loveday draws close to her own children, Rennie and Peter's problems are resolved . . . and a fine Quaker wedding ensues in Rhode Island. Despite some intriguing Mozartiana: slow, sticky going.

Pub Date: Nov. 18, 1982

ISBN: 0944350151

Page Count: -

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1982