LILLY CRACKELL by Caroline Slade

LILLY CRACKELL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

As a social document this is tops. As a human interest story, it did not quite pack the punch of The Triumph of Willy Pond (for me at least). Technically, it is a better book than Job's House --but there is no part of it that hits emotionally some of the high spots of that. However, as an overall picture of social agencies at work -- of passing the buck -- it is revealing and disillusioning. Lilly Crackell is an ""unmarried mother"", professionally. She has babies -- from the age of fourteen on -- chiefly because she loves babies. She is not a ""bad girl"" in the ordinary sense; she is neither a prostitute nor an amateur operator. She has been brought up as well as her kindly, but no -- good, father, her once ambitious but almost defeated mother, can do in a one-room shack, with a dirt floor, and promises -- through the years -- of improvements to come. The Crackells are ""on the town"" and are a symbol to the social agencies. So even personal interest and warm-hearted intervention cannot save Lilly from becoming a town problem every once in so often. There are some soft, human bits; but there are too many committee meetings and long-winded dissertations on routine attitudes; the facts speak for themselves -- but one misses the relief such a story needs. Well done, but difficult to sell.

Pub Date: April 22nd, 1943
Publisher: Vanguard