LIFE MAKES ADVANCES by Madeleine Boyd

LIFE MAKES ADVANCES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A tissue of multiple incident and multiple character, with the focus on the adolescence and youth of a French girl of middle-class, who goes out into the world to earn her living as a teacher, and plays ducks and drakes with men's hearts. She plays relatively safe, though she finds herself torn between her ""flirts"" -- and eventually marries an Irishman, a budding diplomat, whose career is incontinently wrecked by his slight bias in favor of Germany and against England at the outbreak of the war. Oddly enough, the most convincing part of the book is the French background; one feels that this might be an inadequate translation, not only of emotion and thought, but of language, not a book written by an American (?). I found the repeated interpolation of French words and phrases artificial and irritating and wholly unnecessary, and it proved a distinct barrier to fluent reading of the text. Psychologically, an interesting book; but the characters rarely come alive, and the background is crowded with people out of reality in a somewhat unconvincing way. The publishers are doing a good build-up in advance hurrah. I question the soundness of the book from the sales' angle.

Publisher: Little, Brown