Kirkus Star


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A lively, better than average romance-family novel for teen-age girls. As in the 18th century novels of sensibility, the Armecost family leads tremulously emotional lives. The school teacher, bird-watching father, charming, gentle mother, twenty-three year old poetry loving nurse, Theo, lovely and impetuous eighteen year old Anne, and self-conscious, sensitive, fourteen year old Johnny--all vibrate to each other's problems like over-wrought canaries. Meditations, enatches of poetry and diaries reflect the Armecost problems. There is Anne, painfully, desperately in love, jilted by a boy her own age who is unwilling to accept the responsibility of her too ardent love; the brief, gay courtship of Theo and Paul; frail Johnny's sub-rosa tangles with a body-building course; and in the background the gloomy marriage of young Sam and Nora, doomed to hardship and dismal years in drab apartments until nineteen year old Sam finishes night school and is able to provide for his wife and baby. One summer brings emotional changes -- Anne still feels the smart of her loss but is determined to start college with a fresh outlook; the family is delighted with Paul and marriage lies ahead for Theo. By saving a friend from drowning Johnny finds his real strength; and Nora with the baby joins Sam in a new apartment, accepting their hard life but secure in their mutual love. There may be a surfeit of nobility here, but the family relationships are warm and happy, the dialogue witty, and the sobering picture of a moneyless teen-age marriage gives the book substance. also the sympathetic glimpse of a kid brother may inspire the teen-age girl to take a second look at the traditional post. Sure fire for girls.

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 1950
Publisher: Harper