THE HUSBAND by Natalie Anderson Scott


Email this review


Just as different from The Story of Mrs. Murphy as that was different from The Sisters Livingston- this third novel of Mrs. Scott's is a strange study in the almost morbid relationship between a man and his wife. Period setting- the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the early days of the new nation, when the stocks were the penalty for public swearing and when a woman was virtually a chattel obedient to her husband's will. Most wives found a way to assert themselves, but Cassie, at the start of the story a normal girl, with eager sympathies and ample courage, becomes before the end of her career as wife, supine before her husband's unspoken whims, sadistic in taking out pent-up frustrations on her children, jealous to the point of murder- unwitting though it might be. Her mother was a scold; Cassie had become like her, without her staunch virtues. And the husband, Mr. Rawson? Cruel, ambitious, mysterious to the end, when, as hangman, he promised to hurt her as little as possible. An unreal sort of tale- set in the mood of other times not too convincingly delineated. The reader could gladly throttle the principals without a qualm. The market- under the impetus of the predecessors- will include many to whom this book may prove a let-down. While others who might be interested in the setting need your presentation.

Pub Date: April 26th, 1949
Publisher: Dutton