THE EWINGS by John O'Hara

THE EWINGS

KIRKUS REVIEW

One wonders whether this really is O'Hara's last book or whether it's just been posthumously added to the oeuvre in which case it does him a disservice. There is very little which can possibly pass for a story; there are the same heart-and-soulless women in warmer bodies; and the double-breasted suited men who go on to success via the right fraternity and the right country club. This takes place back in 1913, extending through World War I as based in Cleveland, Ohio. All of it is clocked with the precision of a chronometer. Do you remember when you didn't go "all the way" if you were a "nice girl."?, and when it was dory to say "hunkey"? You won't remember for very long Edna Ewing, who was one of those nice girls, and thus managed to marry Bill Ewing and discard her lower middle-class and less desirable midwestern (Michigan) parents and affiliations. Or Ada Ewing, Bill's mother, a late-in-life surprise to him since he wondered whether she had had an affair with an older member of his father's law firm when actually, after his death, she needed "affection," spelled sex, which she found with other women. That's all there is to it and never has O'Hara's mimetic gift been applied to materials of such utter unremarkability.
Pub Date: Feb. 28th, 1971
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1971




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