From its title, I expected All Kneeling to be a religious novel and, in a perverse way, it is.
The main character, Christabel Craine, is an attractive young woman with modest talent for writing but enormous talent for making people think she deserves to be worshiped.
Growing up in an extended family of well-to-do, elderly relatives, Christabel learns to control those around her in socially acceptable ways. She says she has only the highest motives for doing whatever she pleases, and people believe her.
All but Uncle Johnny.
Uncle Johnny doesn’t think much of Christable’s writing or her conduct. The only credit he gives her is for not making people walk backwards from her presence.
Among literature’s self-centered females, Christabel stands out. She knows exactly what she is doing.
The fact that Christabel doesn’t violate laws or morality or even social conventions is doesn’t make her any less any less despicable — or any less fascinating.
All Kneeling has no plot to speak of; it is all about character. Anne Parrish paints Christabel and her circle with sure, tiny strokes, suggesting rather than telling.
Like a Monet painting, the little bits of this easy-reading novel add up to an insightful portrait.All Kneeling by Anne Parrish Harper & Brothers, 1928 323 pages 1928 #8 My grade B+
© 2008 Linda Gorton Aragoni