WILDER STONE by John Leggett
Kirkus Star


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Something recognizable -- simply stated -- average angled --this is Wilder Stone at 45, a widower with a 12 year old son, Jimmy, who is being raised by Wilder's mother-in-law, and saddled with the dragging demands of his mother and unmarried sister. Knowing himself to be a failure, never having achieved the promise of his job with Lazarus' construction-real estate firm, finding in his fellow worker, Harry Coe, the symbol of his own weaknesses, Wilder is unable to resolve his relationship with his mistress, Bibi; to remove the leech-like naggings of his family; to meet the growing needs of his son. Over the Memorial Day weekend he is confronted with issues -- a promise to the boy, further envelopment by his mother and sister, Bibi's attempts to stabilize or end their association, and the situation at the office. He becomes filled with one purpose -- to take Jimmy to Europe -- for the faces of fear and his futile life come into focus when Jimmy,- as a real person and his most important responsibility,- takes the broken promise as a sign of rejection and is almost lost. A terminal point in a life that stems out of a marriage hampered by its restrictions this makes its point that the easiest way is not always the best and that man -- thinking -- can attain truth and integrity. A wrinkled, tired, grey flannel suit -- ready once more for the cleaners, this has a familiar and friendly touch.

Pub Date: Jan. 6th, 1959
Publisher: Harper