So Little Time mourns what might have been

birthday cake

Jeffrey Wilson had started out as a journalist with aspirations of a literary career.  The one play of his that was produced, bombed. Now middle aged, Jeff has become a script doctor. Directors respect his ability to sharpen lines so they convey the playwrite’s intent.

Jeff wouldn’t need to work (His wife, Madge, inherited money.), but his self-respect demands it.

He knows he has an instinct for the technical aspects of theater, but feels he lacks the talent to write a good play. But, like everyone at mid-life, he wonders if he might not be successful if he only gives it one more try.

So Little Time is about what happens when Jeff tries one more time.

John P. Marquand paints a placid picture of middle age that roils with an almost adolescent angst beneath its surface. Jeff swings in a minute from feeling Madge doesn’t’ understand him to feeling she knows what’s he’s thinking. But unlike a teenager, he doesn’t let on.

Marquand makes Jeff and Madge very ordinary people, believable and forgettable, like most of the people we come across in our lives.

So Little Time is the story of every man and woman’s middle years. You won’t remember the plot, only the feeling of loss it leaves.

So Little Time
By John P. Marquard
Little, Brown, 1943
595 pages
1943 bestseller # 3
My Grade: B+

Photo credit: Happy Birthday by signalchao http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1305615

© 2013 Linda Gorton Aragoni

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