THEIR HOUSE by Mary Towne


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Feeling flush with Dad's promotion and a recent inheritance, the Jacksons buy a rather grand old house on three country acres and begin redecorating it in their own unsophisticated style. As a courtesy to the previous owners, the elderly Warrens, they allow them to stay on until they can find a new home. Mr. and Mrs. Jackson, who sense the Warrens' condescension and continuing feeling of proprietorship, are uneasy with them; but Molly--admiring their beautiful old things and curious about the children of whom they never speak--is drawn to Mrs. Warren, while her younger brother enjoys the companionship of her husband. Sensitive readers of this quiet, taut story will be aware early on that some sorrow haunts the Warrens and that, despite their elegant past, they have nowhere to go. Towne shows that they can be supercilious, yet their history, when it is disclosed, wins sympathy. In a dramatic climax, Molly finds them on the verge of a courageous suicide, which she manages to avert with a believable blend of bravado, quick thinking, and genuine affection for the old pair. An unusual novel that addresses the real problems of the elderly while involving readers with several memorable, vividly drawn characters.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1990
Page count: 198pp
Publisher: Atheneum