THE DOWAGER by Elise Sanguinetti


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The author has choreographed the maneuvers of Southern girls of good family in two other novels. The Last of the Witfields and New Girl and this is another cycle in the suds. First Family Winky Carr of Charleston, daughter of a sweet faded mother and a defeated alcoholic father, graduate of Wellesley, returns to the old ""Dowager"" of a city after a trip abroad. While in Norway she had fallen madly in love with Walter, a dashing Northerner, and in a Paris idyll, the two had presumably consummated their love. But Walter has a way of wandering without notice, and Winky, disappointed, returns home to involve herself in family woes, be squired by friend Tom (a pleasant brother-sister relationship), and in the course of newspaper work, briefly become interested in a college-educated Negro accused of rape. Rapturously receiving word, after the misery of her father's death, that Walter is on his way, Winky is told on his arrival that he is marrying someone else. Winky's future of single loneliness (Tom also leaves town), claimed by the Dowager, seems assured. Unfortunately the tendencies toward deeper concern are deflected by inept dialogue and flaccid characterizations. For undemanding ladies who can take the melancholy close.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1968
Publisher: Scribners