EDENS LOST by Sumner Locke Elliott


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Eden is the exclusive world which Eve St. James, a womanof great beauty and eclat, shares with her husband, a Judge, at the expense of her three children. One of them, Bea, growsup to write radio serials during World War II which is acloser approximation of this book than the publisher referralto Henry James. Sumner Locke Elliott wrote a nice first novelabout a child (Careful, He Might Hear You) and a second novelabout the theatre (Some Doves and Pythons) and to be sure thisis better than the latter even though it's strictly matineeentertainment. In insets, over a span of time, it covers therelationships--circular but always connecting--between the St.Jameses, their two daughters and son, and three of life'scastoffs whom Eve, with her luminous generosity, salvages: aboy, Angus; an ungainly Austrian refugee whom her son willmarry; and her own contemporary, Lady Cissie, whose ambiguousattraction for the Judge is revealed in one startling, vengeful instant. All of this is, in its fashion, opulentlyromantic and pleasantly parlayed in silvery, sugary words(delightfuls and entrancings) without altogether forfeitingthe realities of living and loving it sometimes seems tocamouflage. The St. Jameses ""have a talent for making 'no'impossible"" which should be part of their affirmativeattraction.

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 1969
Publisher: Harper & Row