FOR INNOCENTS ONLY by Richard Dohrman
Kirkus Star


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Mr. Dohrman's second novel is an absorbing, highly intelligent story of the inner and outer life of a group of people, some distinctly American, all remarkably compelling. Jane Guild is in a New England sanitarium. Peter Guild and their daughter, Taylor, are in Honduras. There is Katherine Guild, Peter's sister, who writes books only in the degree that she can deal with her loneliness; Giles Hennessey, who has built a rationale of rejection on the cornerstone of accident; George Blankenship, struggling for a place among the people he admires and envies; and his young wife, who has married him for reasons nobody can divine. Jane comes home, much changed, sensing that her marriage is about to be ended, but longing for her husband and their old life. From this point the plot needs no elaboration. The core and beauty of the story lies in the author's deep understanding of the way each of his human beings affects the others. Even at their most honest moments they are uniquely, often tragically, separated by the different paths of their consciousness -- and yet they reach out and sometimes touch. Through his story, we share the changing emotions and attitudes of people growing, feeling, compromising and rejecting life. Some of his people are heroic creations yet they are hewn from our time and our dilemmas. There is consummate skill in delineating character through the spoken word. An intuitive knowledge of life sets this novel apart from the general run. Here is a young novelist who has a vision of life beneath its multifaced complexity. The glitter doesn't distract him--he goes to the heart of the matter, to what he believes makes men and women strong and full of affirmation. Articulate as he is, Mr. Dohrman should win wide attention.

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 1960
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin