THE DESPERATE CHILDREN by David Cornel DeJong

THE DESPERATE CHILDREN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Not in line with his Dutch writing, but returning to the New England (Providence) setting of Benefit Street, this follows an assortment of adults and children in their interrelationships, fuses- rather strangely- elements which are tender and perverse, sympathetic and distasteful. Centered is a teacher, Miss Tumolcy, sixty odd, dying of cancer, and her rather fanciful classroom techniques which do not obscure her genuine affection for the children. There are the two in her grade closest to her heart; Orrin West, a farm boy, out of place because of his physical maturity and his background, and troubled by the suicide of his father; and Sebastian, precocious, erratic, and unsettled by the vicious neuroticism of his mother. And among the adults, there is the wanton Mrs. Giloogley, and the zealous, malicious Miss Stroock, the principal, who fails in her attempts to ruin her younger sister, the man she is to marry, and Miss Tumolcy... There's a certain mannered unreality to all this- which is not for the wider audience he has reached.

Publisher: Doubleday