BETHEL MERRIDAY by Sinclair Lewis
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Prodigal Parents proved such a disappointment that everyone will have fingers crossed for this one -- and they will be pleasantly surprised. I liked it, and I think it has the makings of one of his most popular books, though not, perhaps, one that will live long. The subject has its advocates the country over, -- a stagestruck school girl and her climb up the ladder to success behind the footlights. Sinclair Lewis has personal experience to bolster the factual picture of summer theatre, and, so far as I can recall, this is the first novel told against the background. Then comes the battle for a Broadway chance, the long weeks of trouping in a road company giving Romeo and Juliet in modern dress, with loyalties at odds as Bethel stands back of the glamorous leading man and producer, while falling in love with the bitter young iconoclast who battles the gilded youth at every turn. It is a human story without doing much more than scratch the surface, but it is good entertainment for anyone interested in ""theatre"". Sinclair Lewis has a genius for detail, and he is tops in this book when it comes to dramatic detail.

Pub Date: March 22nd, 1940
Publisher: Doubleday, Doran