NEELY by Walter Karig


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A decade of a boy's life mirrors the conflicts, the emotional markers, the personal decisions and judgments and the eventual revolt that takes Stanfield Bright into adulthood. The only son of the author, Aurora Stanfield Bright, popular first in magazines and later a good moving picture property, Stanfield is beset by loneliness, by questions about his father, which are never answered, and by his mother's implacable possessiveness and FFV heritage. His teddy bear turns into his imaginary playmate -- Neely -- who does everything Stanfield cannot do, voices the hidden dreams and desires of the little boy's heart and comforts him through all the rough and inconsolable moments. When his mother burns Neely after the measles, it is a Sealyham who fills his needs until his death leaves Stanfield without a refuge. His mother's marriage to a moving picture producer -- plus a bad session in math and a doubtful interlude with a girl -- drive him out of school and into the Navy. There the comforting of Flora Belle, with her and little history, offers him another escape and his mother, to his surprise, takes the marriage in her stride, envelope them both with her plans. No Catcher In The Rye, still this presents a warm picture of an enforced solitary, of a hothouse imagination which acts as a buffer for reality.

Publisher: Rinehart