DAYS ARE AS GRASS by Wallace McElroy Kelly


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Two thirds of this book provided stimulating and interesting reading, as through the life of an older daughter of a rich family facing the financial reverses of post-war South, one shares intimately the social foibles of those days. There is Florrie, who dares to be different, to face spinsterhood rather than marry where she cannot love; there is her younger sister, who becomes the typical Victorial doormat of a wife; there is the mother, who takes to hysterics when things don't go her way; there are Florrie's small circle of intimates, embracing the bonds of matrimony, and finding them Irksome, in varying degrees. And- against this array of feminine frills and furbelows, there are the men, most of them rather shadowy figures, except for Pick Hayden, ""poor white"", with his casual Negro mistress, and his whole heart bound up in his worship of Miss Florrie. The last third of the book, when Florrie dares the confess and claim her love- but dares not marry him, and when she rapidly becomes queer and shoddy and drunken, the book seems to me to fall to cohere. It is unpleasant reading, that last third, unpleasant and unconvincing...As the first Knopf Literary Fellowship in Fiction, the book will rate attention- and there is enough exceptionally fine writing in it to hold the interest to the end.

Pub Date: Nov. 5th, 1941
Publisher: Knopf