THE FLOWER OF MAY by Kate O'Brien
Kirkus Star

THE FLOWER OF MAY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A soft counterpoint of first affections and experiences is toned by the fixed assurances of the world from which it stems- a substantial Irish Catholic society at the turn of the century, which crossed to the continent for its finishing touches but returned always to the Church for its firmer foundations. The ""flower of May"" is Fanny Morrow, second doughter in a large family and her father's gentle maiden, as a succession of emotional imprints are fixed on the inexperience and ""lack of definition"" of her eighteen years. A summer in Europe, with the more aristocratic family of her closest convent friend, Lucille, opens her eyes to luxury and her heart to Andre, Lucille's brother, whose charms are calculated and whose destiny is a marriage of wealth and prestige beyond Fanny. She returns home, to the deathbed of her mother. And she concludes the gentle, tentative flirtation with Andre when she finds him involved with her older, married sister, returns him to his own world... . A delicate transcript of youthful perceptions and preoccupations, of the first flush of sentiment- and grief, to which the conventions of the social world and a deep sense of spiritual grace lend a more lasting security. For tranquil- and discerning- tastes.

Pub Date: Sept. 2nd, 1953
Publisher: Harper