TWO BY TWO by Mary Stolz


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There's a fresh and feeling quality to this story of youth, midway between innocence and experience, dependence and release, and for Harry Lynch, 17, these marginal months are marked by the recent death of his mother. Difficult and recessive with his father, a man unable to live with larger emotions and uncomfortably incommunicado since his wife's death-, Harry has only Nan, 16, with whom he is at ease and with whom he falls in love. But for Nan, this first love also has its ambiguous, ambivalent moments, and its transgression or her older loyalties-towards her parents- brings on an unreasonable scene between Mr. Gunning and Harry. Harry, cutting loose in town, is accidentally involved in the death of a man; his father comes to his defense-and if only momentarily- acknowledges his failure; and it is he, in a rare moment of humility, who makes the reparations between the Gunnings- and Harry- which returns Nan to him... A slight story, this cuts somewhat deeper in its implications and insights, finds more than a little charm in an awkward age.

Pub Date: Sept. 23rd, 1954
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin