THE VERY BEST PEOPLE by Elizabeth Villars


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A teatime romance, dressier than usual; it flaps in and out of the cinema-style battlements of 1917-1937 High-Society Philadelphia--where matrons billow with hauteur and their daughters are candied snobs all. And on the outskirts of this Society is Kathryn Owen: she's wealthy (her father is the savvy Mayor), but she's definitely not Old Family, and the fact that she attends Bryn Mawr doesn't really help. So the guardian lionesses of Society are aroused when Ty, brother of Kathryn's false college friend Hilary, declares his intention to marry lowly Kathryn: ""We've got to keep our standards,"" declares Ty's Mom. ""After all, this isn't New York."" And poor Ty is bested by his mother's quiet maneuvering, as his family succeeds in marrying him off, after the war, to steely blonde Amanda. Kathryn at first waits patiently, then (after being indubitably dumped), she becomes pregnant by a stranger in a moment of doomsday despair at a party; an abortion follows, and Kathryn is disowned by her family. Still one more disappointment awaits in the 1930s: Kathryn, now a successful administrator in Washington, is wooed again by Ty--who swears to divorce Amanda--but Amanda hustles out, buys a sheer nightgown, and conceives a child in one night with Ty. . . . Finally Kathryn sees the light and marries a nice labor negotiator. Despite the debutante ball/roadster ambience, it's all very airy, transparent. . . and wispy.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1979
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan