NOT A WORD ABOUT NIGHTINGALES by Maureen Howard

NOT A WORD ABOUT NIGHTINGALES

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A smarting diversion is more of an epitaph than an ode as it transcribes a middle-aged moment of escape after Albert Sedgely, a professor from a small New England college, decides to settle in the medieval town of Perugia and shed the ""dull garment of his past"", a comfortable marriage and a circumscribed life. In a moldering villa he becomes the ""man without limitations""; he acquires a tan, a (waxed) mustache, and a mistress with a full-blown sensuous beauty. As the story opens here, and alternates between seductive, shabby Italian vistas and the insular life he has abandoned, Rosemary- his daughter- is sent to Italy to bring her father back. Her innocence has its winterkilling effect on the sunburst of his Italian idyll, desire becomes disgust, freedom an inglorious retreat.... Mrs. Howard has learned a little from Mary McCarthy; her eye for the telling detail and her ear for the spoken word are wonderfully and wickedly precise; if her thrust is no more than skin-deep, she scratches up a wide surface area of life.

Pub Date: March 9th, 1962
Publisher: Atheneum