THE LAST OF THE WHITFIELDS by Elise

THE LAST OF THE WHITFIELDS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Almost fourteen, Whitfield, writes of her intense efforts to mature and their parallel to those of her brother Arthur, two and a half years older. For Arthur's failures to live up to the importance of being the last of the Whitfields results in the decision to send him to a prep school in Connecticut where his metamorphosis, although slow and rebellious, is a spur to Feli whose own life, from eleven on, suffers through exaggeration, well maybe lies. She rouses her Georgia town when a northern reporter quotes her in a magazine article; she grows away from her best friend; she hates her tallness and plainness; she is fascinated by Arthur's transformations when he returns from school and disgustedly reports the effects on her parents. There's an interlude in Florida, a visit to family conscious relatives in Charleston; attitudes towards intergration and the Negro are reflected, while Felicia mirrors her ambivalence with youthful energy. There are points in common with Mockingbird but this lacks its clearcut qualities and distinction. Its child's account of life in a southern family has touches of humor, innocent understanding and misunderstanding, but a sense of depth is missing.

Pub Date: March 22nd, 1962
Publisher: McGraw-Hill