Girlie's nineteen-year-old Katie--she could be any spontaneous, receptive young woman in any Midwestern small town during the late Depression and early years of WW II Josephine Carson tells her story and that of other characters in Deliria, U.S.A., via jumpshifts both in terms of time and people. In the beginning it's hard to draw a bead on some of them--only Enid Russell, with her aura of elegance and dead flowers catches your interest as well as Katie's--particularly since she'd killed her husband, shot him ""efficiently"" and then returned from Menninger's to sip away the rest of her life. While Beasley, her only son and Katie's childhood companion, enlists and then cracks up. But as the war goes on, the town is no longer such a dead spot. For Katie, inevitably, there's sex rather than love--Eric, who also goes to war, and Renfro, a quiet one who's bummed around the country and ""can't seem to get back in the world."" More than a copacetic only-yesterday look at middle America from the Creole to the Sunshine to the Salvation Army hostel, or Studebakers and Stutzes, or castor oil and diaphragms--Carson's novel is literal in a good sense, with integrity and an ongoing sense of life, much of which is owed to Katie's vitality.