SEASON OF LOVE by Catherine Lee Clay


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The pop tune title, plus Laurel's limpid gaze from the jacket, will sell the book but love is just what this fervid fifteen-year-old is lacking. Having heard about sex in heady whispers, Laurel is excited at the prospect of cousin Devoe's spending the ""first night"" after his wedding at the plantation, more excited when he subsequently (and routinely) carries her across a stream. Which makes her ripe for debonair cousin Rome (lately of New York, London and Paris) but he spares her only an occasional glance between assignations with other impressionable females all in the family (or about to be), which makes for some bad feeling. Mother and Papa are Grand Tour-ing Europe, a domineering, interfering housekeeper keeps the pot boiling, and Grand tries to pour oil. . . while a succession of relatives come and counter to the Piedmont tradition of hospitality go. Last to leave is Rome, after asking the still supine Laurel to run away with him, then thinking better of it when she's about to get in the buggy: ""Someday you'll understand and thank me."" It's been said before, with fewer cliches and more conviction. And without the unresolved incongruity between 1913 propriety and present candor that makes Rome, for instance, sometimes Lothario, sometimes lecher, always slightly ludicrous.

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 1968
Publisher: Atheneum