SHOULDER THE SKY by George Leonard


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A first novel does not altogether correlate- so that although the parts which deal with young flight instructor and pilot Gordon Latimer, particularly when he is up in the air, have a cleancut reality,- the balance, which deals with Marie, the girl with whom he falls in love, is heavily derivative- say of Tennessee Williams. Along with the vague restlessness and sweet decay, there is the sharp overhang of the past. (Marie broods about her mother's half-remembered death; she also sits on her father's lap.) As she says, ""It's just me... Everything's so complicated""- and so it seems to be- since, while she loves Gordon, she still feels something is missing-mostly in herself. A night defiantly spent with Gordon's best friend leaves her pregnant; she goes to the malevolent, unlicensed Doc- for an abortion- but under the anesthesia remembers the buried past- her mother's death- and decides to have her baby. Telling all to Gordon, she finds him unforgiving, until he too is humbled (his failure to ground a pilot costs several lives- his friend's as well).... The scene is the south (Georgia) and it is hard to take these young people quite as seriously as they take themselves. Conservatives may not want to go near them at all.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1959
Publisher: McDowell, Obolensky