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In the tradition of American literary portraits from Daisy Miller through Kitty Foyle, this Fitzgeraldian first novel by the promising young short story writer has absorbed into the personality of Ginny McLaughlin, not only a study of a woman, but a penetrating appreciation of the American yearning for a lost childhood by those who were unable to bridge the chasm between middle class security in the Twenties and the social and political upheaval of the Thirties and Forties. Seen through the eyes of a man who was also the product of the upper middle class serenity of a leisurely Pittsburgh society, Ginny's early progress within the confining limits of the front porch mores; her break to New York and a job which is less a break than a lengthening of the cord with her return to mother preordained; her first marriage to an ""acceptable"" man which ended in a restless falling away which neither understood; her second marriage and wistful attempt to return to a youthful freedom which never existed; these seem only symptoms of a national malady peculiar to Americans who have been nurtured by the maternal, rocking security of a tribal illusion. Ginny's need for security is stronger and more binding than her need to understand, and she returns to the ordered life she knew after the death of her mother. Although the author's style seems almost anachonistic in its third-martini laments, this is an unusual and important comment on an era, a way of life and a memorable personality.

Pub Date: Nov. 6th, 1951
Publisher: Little, Brown