MAN'S DESIRING by Menna Gallie


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Menna Gallie, whose first book Strike for a Kingdom far outdistanced the genre (a novel of a crime), again has written a story of less importance than its warm and winning ways. It is a comedy of contrasts (male versus female; Welch versus English) so that while opposites attract- they also provoke-- fine distinctions and sharp disagreements. Griff Rowlands, fresh from a Welsh village- with a new dress suit and his Mam's fruit cake, comes to a Midlands university where he is not only homesick for the cosy virtues of his homeland but put off by the chilly climate at Warbeck Hall-and particularly Lydia Kilmartin, highly attractive and destructively clever. From the sherry and crackers of formal faculty functions to the ""wilting digestive biscuits"" of the cold teas in the Common Room, Mrs. Gallie walks the corridors of the institutional, intellectual life with Griff, and keeps him steadfast to his native liking for naked sentiment. On the other hand, at the close, Lydia's lecture, on the sexually suggestive aspects of hymns- a brilliant performance, while intended as a blow at Griff, has more crushing consequences for Lydia.... A small book which should find many wayside admirers- it is variously tart, tender and true.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1960
Publisher: Harper