C/O ARNOLD'S CORNERS by Suzanne Newton


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The projected harassment and beating of a long-haired artist (he's been commissioned by the State University to capture ""the essence of rural life"") is far from typical even in a town as provincial as Arnold's Corners, and if it were to happen Rosalee, the local storekeeper's daughter, could hardly turn the whole community around. But though the ostracism, rescue and eventual acceptance of shaggy Mr. King runs its course with the neatness of wish-fulfillment, Rosalee's frustration with the restricted, gossipy life of Arnold's Corners rings true. Allowed only ten books a month by the traveling bookmobile librarian and with the three people she likes best -- Mr. King, the unwed mother/seamstress Jenny and a black schoolmate May -- judged unsuitable as companions, Rosalee is reduced to working extra time in her father's store and babysitting for ten cents an hour to keep busy. She reports her stratagems to avoid boredom and her serious bicycle accident -- while racing to warn Mr. King of approaching rednecks -- with the same slightly southern turn of phrase and relaxed, self-deprecatory humor; the tone is not quite equal to the story's most melodramatic moments but unobtrusively entertaining otherwise.

Pub Date: March 25th, 1974
Publisher: Westminster