Like Jan Struther’s Mrs. Miniver, which made the bestseller list in 1940, Isabel Scott Rorick’s 1941 novel, Mr. and Mrs. Cugat: The Record of a Happy Marriage, is a series of episodes rather than connected narrative.
The Cugats’ adventures are related by an omniscient narrator who appears be observing from behind Mrs. Cugat’s right shoulder. Rorick never lets readers get close enough to the characters to drop the courtesy titles.
Mrs. Cugat is an airhead. After an education that included social skills and field hockey but skipped arithmetic as being too difficult for her, she made her debut and snagged Mr. Cugat.
Mr. Cugat’s own education included arithmetic. By the time they married, he was third vice-president of his bank.
Unencumbered by children or annoying relatives, Mrs. Cugat leaves the housework to the cook and maids while they lead the busy, alcohol-soaked social life of America’s pre-World War II country club set.
For Mrs. Cugat, a serious crisis is her husband forgetting to hire a costume for a masked ball or unexpected guests for dinner. Rorick plays for laughs and Floyd A. Hardy’s cartoon illustrations underscore the frivolity of her text.Mr. and Mrs. Cugat: The Record of a Happy Marriage
by Isabel Scott Rorick
Illus. Floyd A. Hardy
The World Publishing Company
My grade: C
© 2011 Linda Gorton Aragoni