WHAT HAVE YOU DONE ALL DAY? by Marjorie Lee

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE ALL DAY?

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KIRKUS REVIEW

One thing this author hasn't done is spend a significant portion of her day reading and/or writing poetry. Mrs. Middle Amerika versifies in buoyant Senior Scholastic idiom re the joys and tribulations of childbearing (""O, they're precious and they're very cute,/ As I've already said;/ But I love them best at eight o'clock/ [That's when they go to bed]"" and husbands (""I cannot even catch a train. . ./ He thinks. . . . I do not know that there's a war. . . / He swears. . . . That this delusion, sweet, sublime,/ He holds until the end of time --/I hope""). The husband (invariable referred to rather nauseatingly as ""my love"") is the same lovable dolt we know so well from TV soap commercials, complaining about the 9-to-5 drudgery as the wife valiantly conceals that the real work of hying (laundry, dishes, sending kids to school) happens within the stultifying confines of the symbolic hearth. Poetically, she makes Rod McKuen look like Yeats; camp-wise, it's a dud; as for social history, it's the apparent last gasp of sentimentality (she used to publish in the now-defunct Saturday Evening Post) for the romantic idyll we used to have of marriage before the swingers et al. zoomed the divorce rate -- not that a woman who's published four novels (no matter how lousy) is all that much of a typical housewife anyway.

Pub Date: Dec. 12th, 1973
Publisher: Crown