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The issues of age (A Sense of Values). of status (The Man in the....) and other contemporary look-arounds have a continuum here with a college official who is bothered -- by marriage and his job -- and bewildered -- by a young, uninhibited daughter of a friend and an ex-love. George Winthrop, aware of the drabness and lacks in his life, is a readymade subject for 17 year old Charlotte's analysis of his immaturity, his cowardice, his possibilities of revolt and rejuvenation; he is further bound to her through their mutual desire to help her father, Peter Harkin, keep his job, an end of the road effort, in the drama department of Wellington College (upper N.Y.) in spite of Peter's relapses into alcoholism. Georgie, as vice president of the college, has the lure of the presidency if a money raising campaign, to which he is assigned, is successful, and against this he balances the febrile promises of young Charlotte. Charlotte wins him -- to a round of passion in New York City and the abandonment of his future; but her father dies and, when she finds another understanding protective male -- Georgie's brief fling ends -- where it started. The male, menopaused or alerted, at forty five, is a student in an accelerated course of self knowledge which chastises while it rehabilitates. An older view -- for older ages, this reviews many aspects of a definite syndrome.

Pub Date: Jan. 14th, 1962
Publisher: Harper & Row