IF YOU SAY SO, CLAUDE by Joan Lowery Nixon

IF YOU SAY SO, CLAUDE

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Like most pioneer women, Shirley meekly answers, ""If you say so Claude,"" when her scruffy white-bearded mate decides to leave their Colorado Territory mining town and seek peace and quiet in Texas. She protests but acquiesces when Claude wants to stop in a nrrow rocky canyon; but then Claude himself decides to move on when a bullet Shirley aims at a rabbit bounces back and forth across the canyon and zooms straight through the top of his hat. An unpleasant experience with a wild hog and a rattlesnake drives them on past Claude's second choice, a bleak, flat landscape with (says Shirley) ""the worst case of the uglies I've ever seen."" A wolf disturbs them in his third, which is dusty, dry, and bumpy-lumpy. Then when Shirley finds a likely spot--so pretty Claude fears it will soon fill up with people--she covers up a bobcat's appearance and talks Claude into staying. When he comes round, she's all demure: ""If you say so, Claude."" This is intended perhaps as a sly demonstration of a rifle-totin' woman's underhanded power play. But Cauley's crassly obvious style is about as sly as a charging hog; Nixon's telling is also short on surprise and nuance; and though Shirley's indirect tactics were a necessary resort in her day, they'll only make today's young feminists' blood boil.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1980
Publisher: Warne