THE APRIL AGE by Lavinia Russ


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Not quite the grand tour, but a very agreeable circuit, as Peakie Maston, turning eighteen in the summer of 1925, visits Europe with a group of girls even though she has not graduated from Miss Lothrop's. (Having run away to New York because she ""didn't believe"" in the school's teachings, she was found morally unfit.) Peakie, who has never before danced with a man, fails in love on the ship with the charming and enchanted Commander Hayford, and sees him frequently in England--but, alas, he turns out to be married. And so it goes through France and Italy, which Peakie does not get to know nearly as well as she does Eric, a would--be composer who fears involvement. . . the straight--laced Stewart who thinks she laughs too much, besides not being rich. . . Tom, an artist who already has a rich wife. . . and finally the nice is land school teacher David, who makes her realize that all her day dreams of a beautiful life with this one or that one completely ignore the dreams of the partner in question. The ready availability of lovable men becomes a bit hard to credit, but each man, and each relationship, is as different as Peakie claims, he is, and sure enough each in his way falls for this poetry quoting innocent who feels like chiffon as a result of the Commander's attentions, and who discovers that you can like someone without wanting to sleep with him and, more surprising, vice versa. (She does, however, manage to remain a ""nice girl"" to the end, even though she is looking forward to what she prefers to call ""making love"" as ""sex"" sounds like stainless steel.) Peakie writes it all down so that her future granddaughter upon reaching eighteen will know how it felt, and that is just what a girl of 1975 will come away with.

Pub Date: April 18th, 1975
Page count: 119pp
Publisher: Atheneum