ONE WHITE STAR by Gladys Hasty Carroll


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A three generation pattern repeats itself in the story of Laura Craig, -- the child in the triangle of mother, daughter and granddaughter; and later the wife and mother, standing in the middle between her child and her mother; and finally, the mother, demanding a life of her own, and pushing her daughter out, just as she begins to know her. Once again Mrs. Carroll has turned back to New England, -- first a farmhouse setting, where a marriage of different backgrounds was going on the rocks. Then a simple town house, where Laura lived with her mother and grandmother. Finally, a handsome brick house, where Paul Losley, popular minister, brought Laura -- and then asked of her that she let him put his idealism ahead of his humanity. It was there that Laura had to learn to live her own life, to fill the vacuum of unfulfilled love, to let her daughter fill the lives of others while her mother stood aside. It is an unusual handling of a difficult mother-daughter theme. Sometimes it is too objectively remote, but often it comes to grips with real issues. The story lives through successive portraits, particularly some of the minor figures on the periphery, Kate, who was bigger than life size, and who dared not to conform; and Hannah, charwoman at the hospital who came into Laura's life at a crucial moment. There is something-but not enough- of what Mrs. Carroll did so memorably in As The Earth Turns -- a capturing of a way of life in a fundamentally American setting. While it is hard to put finger on why this stands out above the books she has done in between, it seems to me that it has a kind of wisdom and philosophy that today needs. Not a great but a good book.

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 1954
Publisher: Macmillan