THE MOTORING MILLERS by Alberta Wilson Constant


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An applecheeked honeycombed summer (1910) with the Millers--Lou Emma, Maddy, Papa, and stepmother Miss Kate--starting in Gloriosa, Kansas and traveling to Colorado Springs in their Great Smith, one of the ten cars in town. The relatively long text (358 pp.) contains quite an array of stock figures (e.g. goody-goody daughter and stickler mother, crosspatch neighbor, richest man in town) and the Millers themselves seem a bit stale even if their personalities are more substantially developed. Thirteen-year-old Lou Emma tends to dominate the story: anticipating their driver-houseguest before the Three State Auto Race; receiving a sapphire ring from inarticulate admiring Tommy and wondering whether to tell; pushing for the family automobile trip; reappraising her opinion of that new stepmother throughout. Papa is a professorial kook who spouts classicisms; Maddy is an imitative younger sister with a particular capacity for responding to the idiosyncratic; Miss Kate seems hopelessly flawless until she momentarily breaks down and lets Lou Emma see behind the unruffled exterior. Their mishaps en route to Colorado Springs are a source of diversion for them but they are not consistently entertaining for the reader. Minor engineering with Those Miller Girls (1965).

Pub Date: April 21st, 1969
Publisher: Crowell