TWO SOFAS IN THE PARLOR by David Cornel De Jong


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Strangers in a foreign land, this is the story of the Kegels who came to the United States in 1913 and who found Grand Rapids and their neighborhood of Little Zeeland a far remove from their prim, religious, ordered life in Holland. Johannes, the oldest, noon decided for Americanism at the risk of some deceit; Renzel was more slowly won over; and the girls varied, from Hennie whose pride was a stumbling block to little Zwaantje whose unaffected charm opened all doors; but Mother was adamant and fought the contamination of the new world with every weapon she had. This is the story of their shaking down, of the neighbors, of their miserable little house, of the doctor, the minister and the school, and the serio-comic interludes each brought -- and the final decision to follow American ways when Johannes, who had run away, comes home. A period, patient piece, that captures the awkward confusion of old and new cultures, and adult and juvenile conflicts. A far cry from Benefit Street.

Pub Date: Jan. 17th, 1951
Publisher: Doubleday