STRAIT AND NARROW by Geoffrey Cotterell


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A three panel display of the career of Richard Tarrant reflects his life from present to past. Successfully married to Nancy, daughter of a wealthy businessman who has been helpful in his rise as a barrister, Richard has pulled himself out of an essentially middle-class progressive sphere by his own chameleon colorations, adopted at will, from the intensity of Blanche Pontine, to the brass polishing of the Army, during the war, to his courtship of Nancy, and is now ready for the rewards of his assiduous cultivation of every opportunity. But Nancy, insecure in his love, has invited Annetje, from Holland to visit them, feeling that Richard's stay there had changed his love for her. It was in Holland, where he had to parachute to safety, that Annetje shielded him from the Germans, was seduced by him and their affaire was the immediate cause of her husband's death. Her English visit is successful and Nancy calmed by her fears until her father demands repayment from Richard in having him try to hush up a scandal over his illegal business operations, and again Richard turns to Annetje -- only to be discovered by Nancy, who, in heartbreak, drives off to death in the night. Richard, ready to marry Annetje, is refused and deserted by her and left to his empty and self-destroyed future. A conscientious portrayal, this nonetheless lacks the incisiveness which might have heightened its effectiveness.

Publisher: Lippincott