ANGER IN THE SKY by Susan Erts &


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Two thirds of this novel measure up well with the best of Susan Erts' work; the last third breaks badly. It comes down to this -- she is at her best in the English scenes, and her American scenes and characters seem second hand, unreal. The story spans the year preceding Pearl Harbor, with the Battle of London as recurrent motif, and the changing pattern of conversation, social commentary, attitudes are presented through a cross sectioning of a motley household -- that of the Anstruthers, estate owners by accident more or less, but sharing their fortunes with those less fortunate. There are the thirty evacuees from London's slums; there are other ""guests"" of their own class, bombed out of their homes; their are thorns in the flesh, Madams Vibourg, of questionable political faith and the pretentious Mrs. Gracie; there are the servants, loyal souls and real friends of the family; and there are the Anstruthers, --Mrs. A. herself and 17 year old Stacy, and -- on leave -- the lovely unhappy Viola, nursing in London, and the son in the R.A.F. And over week-ends, as many more as the old house will hold. It rings true to the best of the English tradition -- it is an interesting mirror hold up to changing times and new trends of social awareness. But when she tries to bring in an isolationist American, the pattern seems staged, obvious, the conflicts unconvincing. There is drama and humor and pathos --and chiefly there are conversations we've all heard in recent years. In spite of its shortcomings, it is well worth reading as a record of changing England.

Pub Date: Nov. 23rd, 1943
Publisher: Harper