MARIA LIGHT by Lester Goran


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Lester Goran's second novel has none of the real distinction of his earlier The Paratrooper of Mechanic Avenue and is the story of a young widow's search for the love and security she has once known. Maria Light lives in a government housing project with her father-in-law and two children. The days pass in monotonous sameness, working in a bakery, gossiping with the neighbors, and on Saturday nights listening to the Hit Parade or hopefully trying to find some escape at the weekly gatherings of the Irish Friendship Society. Again and again she builds romantic dreams only to be disappointed. Archie Stiles disappears leaving her pregnant. Her marriage to Peter Debish turns into a nightmare and all the while the man she could truly love is helplessly tied to another woman. Goran gives an honest portrayal of the day to day life in a housing project and successfully captures the atmosphere of the early '40's:- the soldiers and sailors out on the town for an easy pickup; the momentary excitement of the casual friendship; and the lonely women choosing movies according to the male hero. But the misfortunes of Maria are sometimes reminiscent of the luckless heroines in the soap operas and like those heroines she remains undaunted through it all. Accordingly the book ends on a hopeful note.

Pub Date: May 17th, 1962
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin