CROWN OF LIFE: The Story of Mary Roberts Rinehart by Sybil & Jane Valentine Barker Downing

CROWN OF LIFE: The Story of Mary Roberts Rinehart

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With ennobling admiration, the authors press their subject's life and times into ""faction."" Nurse, WW I journalist, advocate of Native American rights, mystery writer, wife, mother--Rinehart packed plenty of spunk and knew when to show it; scenes of her as a teenager staunchly enduring the wretched conditions of late-19th-century hospital work are vivid and shocking. But once Rinehart leaves nursing, the story's pulse falters, its adult heroine skating from one accomplishment to the next with little inducement for readers to follow. They are barred from Rinehart's emotions as well as those of her family, who also suffered her careers' tolls and rewards. Had this been true nonfiction, such absences might be forgiven in such an obviously well-researched document. But to fictionalize biography (a fact that is never made explicit) without providing some compelling narrative drive is unfortunate. Still, what a character. Perhaps this will lead some back to Rinehart's own writings. Notes; bibliography; maps.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1992
Page count: 178pp
Publisher: Roberts Rinehart