THE BEST AND WORST OF TIMES by Peter Srian

THE BEST AND WORST OF TIMES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A young book, like the still younger Mi (Pantheon-1959) still keeps its touch light and impressionable and susceptible. In somewhat fitful sequences, then and now, this goes over the marriage of John Gillan, a Harvard boy, to Sheila, met through his cleaning woman, an Irish Catholic girl at secretarial school in Boston. From the downright disapproval of his father, to his softening- as Sheila gives him a grandson- and a second child is on the way, this finds them returning from France, the trip his father's gift, to work in a law firm. On the crossing they meet Tony Chase, whom Gillan had known at Harvard, Tony, an unstable and disorganized character engaged in somewhat doubtful enterprises. To Sheila, he is ""anti-life"" and at first she feels threatened by him; but as time goes on here, in New York, it is John who has every reason to suspect- and resent Tony, to feel that Sheila is alienated by him, and responsible for her withdrawal which leaves him importunate, impotent and humiliated.... Over and above a sometimes obstructive style (the consciousness which streams unimpeded by punctuation), this tells a personal, tenuous, tantalizing story, and speaks for and to its contemporaries.

Publisher: Doubleday