The Point of No Return Makes Gray Vivid

Investment banker Charles Gray is not a man to take chances. He believes in preserving assets— emotional assets as well as financial ones.

In The Point of No Return, John P. Marquand explores the one time in his life when Charles almost stepped out of character.

When the book opens, Charles is waiting to hear whether he or Roger Blakesley will be tapped for the bank’s vacant vice presidency.

When the bank sends him to his hometown to check on collateral offered by a loan applicant, Charles reviews the youthful experiences that shaped him. His fear of taking risks is  at least partially due to his father’s stock speculation and suicide in 1929.

When he gets to Clyde, Charles sees that his childhood best friend has climbed to the top of the local social and political power structure.

While Clyde views Charles as a successful New York banker, Charles realizes he is small potatoes in the Manhattan financial scene. He’s been careful and obsequious, but that’s not enough to guarantee success in a corporation.

Marquand is so skilled a writer that he makes an entertaining novel out of experiences that didn’t excite even their participants.

You won’t remember Point of No Return long, but you won’t be bored while you’re reading it.

The Point of No Return
By John P. Marquand
Little, Brown 1949
559 pages
1949 Bestseller # 5
My Grade: B
© 2009 Linda Gorton Aragoni

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Linda Aragoni

I'm passionate about helping people learn through the medium of nonfiction writing. Although I occasionally have an idea of my own, I mostly build education tools by recycling and repurposing other folks' ideas.

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