THE SUMMER-HOUSE LOON by Anne Fine

THE SUMMER-HOUSE LOON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An elegant, bubbly British comedy, which gets much farcical mileage from an old convention: the assumption that people in love behave in a charmingly idiotic and highly stereotyped manner. Today's young people might be charmed or exasperated by the exaggerated looniness of both young Ned Hump--a graduate student of Ione Muffet's history-professor father--and of Ned's security-minded lady-love Caroline Hope, who is employed as blind Professor Muffet's Braille. transcriber. But those moved to read on will be at least intermittently amused by the dithery doings that begin with Ione meeting the lovelorn young man in the Muff at summer house and end with his impromptu engagement party. The celebration follows Ned's passing his oral exams, and thus winning a faculty job and Caroline's acceptance--but to do so he has had to swallow some crackpot convictions about Early Sardinian Trade Routes. Ione, displaying more cool than she knew she had, plays a role in resolving Ned's moral dilemma; but even though the action is seen through her eyes, the teenager's is decidedly a supporting part. One might wonder, in fact, if she isn't there mainly to make a children's book of a piece of fluff too pass‚ for another audience. Nevertheless Ione is an alert and sympathetic observer, and the delightful evening when the professor and Ned get drunk in the study while Ione and Caroline get drunk on cooking-sherry in the kitchen would be less hilarious without her youthful perception of the goings-on.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1979
Publisher: T. Y. Crowell