THE FLOWER GIRLS by Clemence Dane
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For some- this writer included -- this will be sheer enchantment, and, for those who cherish the memory of Broome Stages. delight that Clemence Dane has done it again. For others, accustomed to the truncated writing in many novels today, this will seem overlong, overleisurely, too patently British for their taste.... Once more she has chosen a family of the theatre, the Floristers, and, through the story of Jacy Florister, British subject by his own choice, but American bred, tendrils reach out into the interstices of the family, at various generations strata. Until one reads a book like this, after a desert of time, one does not fully realize the joy of a wholly civilized experience in reading. Not everyone's meat, perhaps. Possibly even this demands maturity, not only of years but of cultural background, for here is the give and take, in dialogue, of people to whom the quick recognition of the apt quotation, the ability to shift from the commonplace to the imaginative worlds, the assumption of shared association of conceptions, ideals, and challenge in point of view. There is a vast amount of theatre, too, in the story of a family that has appeared with a united front, while behind the scenes there are rivalries, feuds, mixed loyalties. There is romance, but Somehow it does not take over the story, with its sprawling multiplicity of plot lines, held together by the magic of Clemence Dane's appreciation of her characters' ability to take over and manipulate the strings. I loved it. Book of the Month selection for July insures a good start. This might well be the book for those who liked Howard Spring's The Houses in Between as well as the loyal clan that know and love Clemence Dane.

Publisher: Norton