Eleanor H. Porter recovered from writing two Pollyanna novels with the 1918 publication of Oh Money! Money! a rollicking tale that makes “the glad girl” look downright dull.
It also manages to make good financial sense.
Oh, Money! Money! A Novel by Eleanor H. Porter
Helen Mason Grose, illus. 1918 bestseller #5. Project Gutenberg ebook #5962.
My grade: B+.
At age 52, bachelor Stanley G. Fulton knows he should name an heir to his $20 million.
His only family are three cousins named Blaisdell whom he’s never met.
He decides to them each $100,000 a test of their ability to manage a sudden windfall.
Calling himself John Smith, a man doing research into the history of the Blaisdell family, Stan travels east to Hillerton and becomes a boarder with his cousin Fred’s family.
His research allows “Mr.Smith” entree into the homes of all his relatives so he can see how each recipient handles a windfall.
His unassuming personality soon has them accepting his presence at every discussion of family business.
Stan is introduced to “Poor Maggie,” a relative by marriage whose good sense and empathy make her a favorite with everyone in Hillerton.
Unlike the Pollyanna novels that sound forced, Money! sparkles.
“Mr. Smith” and “Poor Maggie” don’t have to play a glad game: They’re mature people who’ve learned how to be content.
And the three Blaisdell households’ different attitudes toward money reflect small town America into the 1930s.
© 2016 Linda Gorton Aragoni