Email this review


Grand Hotel technique applied to a group of wartime cliffdwellers in Washington, D.C., an odd assortment of people living in Capital House, all cowed by Mrs. Dwight through whose goodwill (bought by gifts or bribes) an apartment could be secured. There was another dominating factor, sex, from the complete amorality of Kitty Williams (a good soul despite the literal application of the book's title), to Caroline, who tried desperately but vainly to buy off the last remaining hold of her one-time radiant marriage to Philip. Then there were the Temples-small town Californians to whom Washington had been bad medicine; Louise was fast becoming an alcoholic; Willy had to soft-soap Senators to hold down his Coloneloy. And there was Hank O'Malley, who was ready for a lay with any attractive female. And Sally Lawrence, just ripe for O'Malley. And finally the Bents, so patently in love that they provide a catalytic agent to bring the others to a realization of what a low road they had taken. The story weaves a fairly tangled web but at the close- despite a bit of sheer melodrama- one feels that some new leaven has brought to life the best in each of the participants. A story with lots of bald, shock technique which will offend conservatives, but with something basic at the end that offsets its unpalatable stages.

Pub Date: April 21st, 1948
Publisher: Duell, Sloan & Pearce