MORNING FACES by John Mason Brown


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A father's book -- mothers and daughters are practically ignored -- which, however may attach itself more to the distaff side because of the author's platform appearances and his too perceptive appreciation of the fleeting, disarming appeal of small fry. To counterbalance there is more than a suspicion of the strong-arm, of broad humor, of the pitfalls of adult-youth relationships, of a real feeling for the upbringing of two sons. The sentiment of paterfamilias has an overlay not only of nostalgia but of the onus of child into unpredictable boy, of the gay to embarassing situations they can foment, of the vicissitudes of father-son-family-society time marches on episodes. Take a birthday party, fishing, a visit from a family friend and her daughter, a visit to the school, a Hamlet matinee, a report from a summer landlady (a la camp report on a son) on a parent, a day trip to the country, observation at a dancing class, sickness, Sunday afternoon in New York City and the Metropolitan Museum, unanswerable questions- and impossible answers-, the telephone, the knowledge of death, a trip out west,- and departure for boarding school -- these all and/or in part every family knows and cannot help but appreciate. For Brown's civilized, rational approach has its chuckles, its wariness of dictatorial know-how, its apology for the soft edges that cannot be denied. A thoroughly enjoyable family book, familiar to those who have followed his Seeing Things section in The Saturday Review of Literature, a new delight for those who have not.....

Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 1949
Publisher: Whittlesey House