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Were it not that the gently luminous features of the brilliant actress Geraldine Page, who appeared in Capote's Christmas Memory on TV last year, haunt this latest fictional memoir like a benign ghost, one might balk at the author's slide into commercial sentimentality. Again the boy and his childlike, middle-aged friend, "Miss Sook" here, prepare for a holiday. But instead of the exquisite ordinaries of a shared world, this time a contrived situation blocks out rather than illuminates the friendship and the character of Miss Sook. That vague and loving lady in her innocence and inexperience sets herself toward pumping charity into the boy, Buddy, as he suffers under the torments of a twelve-year-old bully, Odd Henderson. Odd is a poverty stricken hellion with a pride to match his meanness. Invited defiantly by Miss Sook to the clan's Thanksgiving, Odd is a social success, but Buddy has triumphantly observed him stealing Miss Sook's cameo, a talisman charged with private meanings. Buddy accuses Odd publicly and the remainder is slick as goose grease -- Miss Sook ignores the theft; the good angel of Odd's nature is touched; Buddy is wooed back from his devastation at Miss Sook's defection by homilies and turkey. Alas, Miss Sook has taken to lecturing, but come Fall TV, assuredly Miss Page will bring her back to life. If you tune out on this one -- tune in for the TV version. This brief tale will appear in McCalls.
Pub Date: Nov. 21st, 1968
ISBN: 0679838988
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1968


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