Roper’s Row Is Clear-Eyed Romance

Roper’s Row is an engaging romance about a brilliant doctor who finds love on his doorstep and tries to step around it.

Christopher Hazzard works his way through medical school, hoping to do medical research. Socially, Kit finds medical school as unfriendly as grammar school. He is mocked for his lame foot and hated for his brilliant mind.

A romantic young woman rooming in the same house with Kit takes an interest in him. Ruth Avery is hard working, clean living. Kit hardly notices her until she get sick.

Ruth attempts suicide when vicious rumors of an illicit relationship kill Kit’s chance of a hospital appointment. Kit responds by marrying her: She’s a really good housekeeper.

Secure in the marriage, Ruth flourishes. She scrimps and saves, looking for a way to provide Kit with enough income to allow him to do research. She mothers Kit until a crisis makes him realize she’s not his mother.

Warwick Deeping freshens the humdrum plot by letting Kit and Ruth mature without transforming them into ways that deny their roots. Kit and Ruth come to love and respect each other, but Kit remains for the most part an emotional isolate. With his background, anything else is impossible.

Roper’s  Row
By Warwick Deeping
Alfred A. Knopf, 1929
365 pages
1929 bestseller # 5
My Grade: B+

© 2009 Linda Gorton Aragoni

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Linda Aragoni

I read. I write. I think. I make big ideas simple. I help teachers teach expository writing to teens and adults. In my free time, I read and review old novels.

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