THE LAST DAY THE DOGBUSHES BLOOMED by Smith Lee
Kirkus Star

THE LAST DAY THE DOGBUSHES BLOOMED

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Since To Kill a Mockingbird, this is the most imaginative limning to date of childhood's boundaries and inevitable incursions. Nine-year-old Susan's world is happily circumscribed and intricately titualistic. Adult shadow play is structured into agreeable fantasy. There is first of all the Queen, lovely and laughing; the Princess (after all, her sister Betty was the Queen's daughter); the handmaiden Elsic Mac (great in attentions and cake icing); Daddy (who was not the King) and the Uaron (whom the Queen seemed to like better than anyone else). On the first hot-green day of summer Susan sat among the dogbushes where she could see everything without being seen, the summer bright and growing for her. But later came the strange movements within the Castle with the Baron appearing, the Princess weeping, Daddy disappearing at times, and the Queen laughing with Susan. And there was Eugene, pale and nasty, who brought the invisible Little Arthur to be president of the children's ""club."" Everyone hated Eugene but loved Little Arthur, even when he wanted them to do cruel and ""dirty"" things. Eugene is quickly sent away by mothers and fathers; the Queen-Mother-leaves Daddy; the Princess is just Betty, now engaged; Susan is going out to dinner with Daddy and she is no longer afraid of Little Arthur whom she knows will be a constant presence. . . . An outstanding new talent an immaculately styled first novel, this summer's day expulsion from Eden.

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 1968
Publisher: Harper & Row