CURLICUES: The Fortunes of Two Pug Dogs by Valerie Worth

CURLICUES: The Fortunes of Two Pug Dogs

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The title is appropriate for poet Worth's expertly finished doily, set in late Victorian or Edwardian times, in the separate households of two genteel old women who purchase pugs on the same day from a pet shop that is going out of business. Thin Miss Thorne, who buys the black pug Imp, wants a watchdog who will behave impeccably: it is her kindly housekeeper-cook Mrs. Hart who walks and pets the dog and buys it meat which Miss Thorne will not pay for. In contrast, plump Mrs. Downey delights in the playful antics of the fawn pug Biscuit, feeds it chocolates, and sends it for walks with congenial housemaid Jenny. The only thorn in Biscuit's side is Mrs. Downey's cook Mrs. Pinch, who becomes more and more ill-tempered over having to cook for a dog, and so finally leaves in a huff. But as kind fate and gentle author would have it, Mrs. Hart has just been fired for pampering Pug--and she can take the troublesome dog with her in lieu of wages. And so this ends well with Mrs. Downey, her new cook Mrs. Hart, and maid Jenny playing cards by the fire in blithe disregard of upstairs/downstairs decorum, while Pug and Biscuit curl contentedly at their feet. From the characters' names to the ornaments in their parlors, a delightfully turned-out period piece.

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 1980
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux