BEFORE YOU GO by Jerome Weidman


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The Enemy Camp (1958) was shadowed by lower East Side beginnings and this book too is rooted in the Sarno family's life there -- a life that Julie's older sister, Celia, is determined to escape. Julie introduces Ben Ivey, the new assistant at the local settlement house, to her family, and Ben's interest in Celia is at first resented. Rumors of Ben's attempts to undermine the director bring about an actual physical retreat which Sarno and his cupping relieve. Ben, beginning a long career with the New Deal, comes on from Oregon, some years later, persuades Celia to come west and marry him. With Julie, Celia finds Ben involved in land reclamation, well on his way with the Roosevelt administration but she suicides before their marriage. And now in World War II, in England, Julie is practically kidnaped in order to make use again of the cupping to restore Ben so he can carry out the vital assignment he has been given. Her success and her challenging of Ben light up the dark memories of their earlier associations and indicate a change for the future. Leadership and the qualities of a leader are mirrored in Ben's career while the Sarnos -- believing, distrusting or unmoved by his persuasions -- find their strengths in their Italian-American origins. A complex of many situations, this does not convince as thoroughly as previous books.

Pub Date: July 25th, 1960
Publisher: Random House