MISS MUNDAY by Sophia Engstrand
Kirkus Star


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Prize novel in the Dial Press Award for Teachers. It's good -- and an unusual first novel. Sympathetic and very real picture of teaching in a small Wisconsin town, with the human problems of the ""fifth estate"" nicely interwoven. The central character is the typical, grooved school teacher, who has never had the courage to buck the strict impositions of the profession. She falls in love with a fisherman, strong, independent, but aware that she could never make the jump from her life to his, much as she wants to do so. One sees the townspeople, vigilant in their watch over the personal lives of the teachers, but unwilling to accord them social recognition; one sees the domination of the school board by the town's wealthiest family, the discrimination against Jews, the tragic, shut-in, manless world of these women. At the close, Helen Munday finds the courage to defy the social arbiters and to alleviate certain of the problems -- but she fails to solve her own problem, finding herself incapable of accepting the crudities of the fisherman's life. It is a subject that has been neglected, and that here finds credible expression. Specialized market but a sound one.

Pub Date: April 22nd, 1940
Publisher: Dial