MISSY by Dorothy James Roberts


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A departure from the glamorous recapturing of an almost mythical past in The Enchanted Cup and Launce lot, My Brother, this returns to a country town in the West Virginia foothills for an average story of average people. Possibly we need more of this, for here are characters we all can recognize; but the end result is not very interesting. Maybe ordinary families aren't very interesting- to read about... Melinda was eight, ""Doc Hamilton's little girl"", as the story opens; at the close she is a wife and mother, married to Johnny, who had once lived on the wrong side of the tracks, but whom she'd always loved and trusted. She is a bit fearful that he wouldn't settle down to the teaching he had loved, when a return from the war finds him edgy, restless, changed. In between she has lived out a familiar pattern; she has grown up, slowly breaking the chrysalis of conformity established by her mother; finding that friendship with her brother is not hers for the asking; learning the ways of poverty- and the brief way of riches, of easy jobs and of depression; losing Johnny- and with difficulty accepting him again. The background has shifted to New York -- and back again to West Virginia. And Missy grows to woman's understanding, a philosophy of life, a belated recognition of what was true and false in her childhood setting, of standards sustained in the long range.

Publisher: Appleton-Century-Crofts