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A guileless, first person tattletale begins in the midwest of 1911, when, motherless at four, she is first taken to her grandparents and has a brief exposure to an ancient regime upbringing (she is given Zoroaster to read; Lord Chesterfield is read to her as a corrective). But when her father remarries, she gets a fullfledged brother- Jimmy one year older- and joins them in the migratory years to follow (her father is a a mining engineer). Most of these Kinderscence deal however with the happy times shared with Jimmy (""Motheranne"" doesn't bother too much with them) playing an endless naval warfare game; there are duller times at school; there's a late night sortie to a friend and prevaricating which makes her realize that ""the truth did not seem big enough""; there's the hiring of Miss Wigham who applies a hairbrush to the youngsters- but steals out in their mother's clothes; there's a long trip alone with Jimmy to Tennessee-and the loss of their money and tickets- which leaves them stranded, except for a man of God; and finally her father's death which ends these vignettes when she is nine.... While there may be a little adult superimposition here, still- this youngster is ""grown up and observant"" to begin with (her grandfather)- adaptable and enterprising too- so that this small memoir has a warm and very natural appeal, with no tremors of a special sensitivity or precocity.

Pub Date: March 6th, 1961
Publisher: Simon & Schuster