RING OF GOLD by Eloise Weld


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I'll be the oak. You be the vine!"" Thus Chugh Walding to his wife, Faith, on their honeymoon. Being a conventional young woman of 1915, Faith agrees and willingly goes to live with Chugh and his elderly father in Fincbwicke, his ancestral home, near Philadelphia. But with Chugh off to fight in France, the vine starts becoming an oak by winning a war on the home front against her father-in-law over who should ring for the serving maid at dinner. Finally, having weathered motherhood, World War I, and the Twenties, Faith realizes ""she need no longer have the living jelly of her inner self squeezed ever tighter"" (translation: she can leave Chugh and Finchwicke). Chugh-the-Oak also takes some knocks (impotence, fear of dying, his wife's new strength, and dependence on her money). About to crash in his plane, Chuch even makes a promise to God of devotion, but the author never calls him to account. The same lack of follow-through accompanies an enraged dairyman's curse on Faith. By the author of Engagement (what next--Silver Anniversary?), Ring of Gold shows too well how yesterday's brand of marriage got its reputation for dullness.

Pub Date: Aug. 29th, 1978
Publisher: Putnam