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If you remember Remember Me to God (1957), Mr. Kaufmann's first novel, this is again an audit of everyday experience whose assets are to be equated with its debits--its verbatim veracity with its prolixity which this time runs to more than a thousand pages. Sometimes Thy Daughter's Nakedness seems to reduce to a question of the emperor's new clothes--a great deal of busyness before he appears, as the British say, ""starkers"" and one might dismiss it as much ado about nothing were it not for the fact that Mr. Kaufmann's documentary of middle class Jewish life tapes characters and conflicts which, however prosaic, will also be equally familiar to just that class from which they derived. When first met Millicent Gordon is fresh out of college, with bristling notions of feminine self-sufficiency and equality which will protect her. Halfway through here, Leslie, a young intern, after a well-argued assault, seduces her. Once bedded, she lives with him and there are some sex scenes of a playfully graphic embarrassment. Millicent still never manages to become thoroughly modern Millie: she is well supported by her brother's accusing letter (he dies in Korea) that she has gone ""wrong"" and by her father (he's a Rabbi with a not very observant flock) who considers that she has violated the Law of the Lord. They break up; they make up; they finally decide to marry before Les goes in the Army; the not so happy couple (Millicent is partly a casualty of her father's intoned ""keep it holy; It's sexier holy, because it's lovelier holy"") separate on the day of the catered wedding. . . . Marjorie Morningstar in Boston.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1968
Publisher: Lippincott