NOT IN OUR STARS by Josiah E. Greene


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With a backing of the publisher for their Centenary Fiction Award, this will perhaps go farther than it would on its own momentum. For it is one of these big canvassed, sprawling novels, with many characters, plots and subplots, and with very little focussed emotional values. It is a new sort of setting -- this big commercial New England dairy, out to build new routes, new outlets, and not particularly concerned as to the processes and their human results. Throughout the organization there's a maximum of ambition, jealousy, office and inter-departmental jealousy, hopes and fears -- and an ingrown distortion which is perverted to make mountains out of molehills of gossip. Whether a teen age or motherless girl, tipsy at her first party, is the victim, or a morbid pervert, or a suspicious, unbalanced sadist, or a girl too closely chaperoned -- the results wreck lives, and keep the emotional fever at high pitch. There's a certain power -- vitality --originality, but it is overlong, the characterizations are for the most part out of drawing, the situations too consistently intensified. And there is no balance of the normal, or even likable personalities, from top executives down to barn boys, nor any sense of the country background of the dairy, any regional flavor. A kind of dairy-wise Desire Under the Elms... But there's to be a substantial campaign and you know what Macmillan can accomplish.

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 1945
Publisher: Macmillan