THE GARDEN by Kathryn Perutz


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A long dormitory confidence in an intense, intimate first person, records a year spent at a girl's college, and in particular the ""emotional but non-corporeal"" relationship which exists between Kathy, and The Blossom (to whom she generally refers as ""My Baby"" ""My Love""), Social Register, impulsive, instinctual. Kathy is more intellectual and has literary grandeur. Along with the non-academic but definitely educational incidents which teach these girls about life, there is the suicide of Kathy's former friend, a lot of youthful nonsense about the absolutes to which they themselves (love and death), intensive self-examination and extensive girlish exchanges, their ""virginal talks"". Some of this gets past conversation; The Blossom has an experience with one of her professors and Kathy, determined to become a ""woman"", spends a night with a casual playboy and is now ready to leave this ""well-tended garden"". .... Definitely a young book (the author is only 22), others may justifiably become impatient with these tremulous first fine feelings, the petal-plucking of experience, and the prose. It might suggest the need for a stricter editorial housemother.

Pub Date: Feb. 22nd, 1961
Publisher: Atheneum