A bit of a slur to the term is implicit in the significance of the title. And the author of Mrs. Pennington has already proved that she can twist her characters and situations at will. A skillful handling of a character on the surface sweet, thoughtful, kindly --underneath ruthless, ambitious, scheming. She sacrifices everyone and everything to her own ends; she forces her husband into actual embezzlement, and then rides to success when he is forced to go to his old home. It's not smart -- nor is it bitter -- but it is a revealing picture of small town pettiness, of small people in small situations. An ironic picture of women's social politics in the midwest (Oklahoma, Missouri).