NEARER THE EARTH by Beatrice Borst


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Avery Hopwood Award -- 1941 -- but it falls far below the standards set by such books as Loon Feather and Fireweed. Theoretically, one approves youth writing of the problems of youth; actually, youth seems to lack the perspective to view those problems. In this book, the action follows the progress of a girl growing up, -- a girl gently born, surrounded by security and comfort up to her thirteenth year, and then forced to face a sharp downward curve. The setting is the mid-west, New York of the twenties, California -- but the mood is that of the mid-west viewing the coasts. Authenticity is ticketed by a nostalgic flavor of popular songs, plays, books, superficial frosting of labor problems and politics -- but there's small success in the recalling of underlying moods. Karen is just such a girl as most of us knew, -- self-centered, priggish, set in her ways. She lost the father she adored, the home she took for granted; she was jealous of the pretty sister who had all the attention, and acquired a solemn of her own, only to pull away from the reality of his groping passion. His successors, including George who is a sort of permanent undergraduate star, all peter out -- but our Karan seems to learn little from her experiences in life and love. All in all. I found it dull.

Pub Date: Aug. 21st, 1942
Publisher: Random House