THE WALLFLOWER SEASON by Jeanette Bruce

THE WALLFLOWER SEASON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Four Manhattan career girls, in their mid-twenties, passively accept their roles as young old-maids, gathering each Saturday night to discuss things cultural and eat tuna fish sandwiches. Each has her own problem and does nothing about it. Lillian has a front tooth that protrudes lethally, Tabitha's much overweight, Olga wears bifocals that would make Magoo blush, and Berenice is over six feet tall. The group meets a village idiot who paints their portrait in an attempt to capture the ""inner-beauty"" of the girls; they retreat to his country home for the unveiling. They unsheathe the painting impatiently and, horrified by what they see, run off in a huff and get lost in a blinding snowstorm. They are first assumed dead. Then they become the object of a massive rescue maneuver, emblazened in headlines as the country's sweethearts, beautiful, loved, successful. In the storm Lillian falls and knocks out her bunny tooth, Olga loses her glasses. Trapped in an isolated cabin for weeks, Tabitha sheds some excess poundage and Berenice her self-consciousness. Miss Bruce started out to say a lot of significant things about the beauty cult perpetuated by our mass media, but instead acquiesced to it by the girls' too easily remedied problems. Non-perceptive comedy that comes off rarely, even Rona Jaffe's mass audience will not be captivated. There's not enough glamour or romance for this to become another favorite of the secretarial set.

Pub Date: March 9th, 1962
Publisher: Doubleday