BURN THEN, LITTLE LAMP by Margaret Banister


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This second novel, very much like the earlier (1963) Tears Are For the Living, is best justified as an antacid to the anti-novels for a generation suffering from the discomforts of a good deal which is written today. Serenely serialized through the years, it follows the lives of the five Armistead children who grow up next door to the five Jeremy boys in a small Virginia town. Not all of them--primarily it concentrates on Norrie Armistead, the reliable one, and Judith the youngest, who will remain her particular charge and concern as Judith plunges from one marriage to another. Norrie has other burdens--her parents--her grandparents--handling everything except her own life since only after she rejects Wade Jeremy, next door, spurs his marriage to her best friend, does she realize she loves him. All of this goes on placidly, sometimes platitudinously, but pleasantly enough until somewheres around the middle years Norrie is ready to try and make a life of her own--with another Jeremy. Try that mature audience. They'll like it.

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin