The Arrangement is The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit without any clothes on. Elia Kazan’s story gets off to a fast and sordid start. The Arrangement: A Novel by Elia Kazan Stein and Day, 1967, 544 p. My grade: C+. “Indispensible Eddie” Anderson, an advertising executive (also known as Evans Arness, muckraking magazine writer, […]
In Greatheart, Ethel M. Dell has created characters readers will care about and eagerly follow, hoping for their happiness. But, as often happens to Dell, when it’s time to end the story, she doesn’t know how to solve the problem she plotted. Greatheart by Ethel M. Dell 1918 bestseller #6. Project Gutenberg ebook #13497. My […]
Mary Jane Ward’s The Snake Pit is a powerful story about mental illness, as terrifying in a quiet way as anything by Stephen King. The novel takes readers inside the mind of one mentally ill person, Virginia Cunningham. The Snake Pit by Mary Jane Ward Random House, 1946. 278 p. 1946 bestseller #10. My grade: […]
From its title and the author’s designation of herself as Mrs. Humphrey Ward, readers might expect The Marriage of William Ashe to be a light romance. They would be wrong. The Marriage of William Ashe by Mrs. Humphrey Ward Albert Sterner, illus., 1905, 570 pp (approx.) 1905 bestseller #1. My grade: A William Ashe is […]
On one level, Private Worlds is a romance whose outcome is never is doubt. On another level, it’s a realistic story of alliances and jealousies in a closed world where the outcomes are unpredictable. As the story opens, Jane Everett is waiting to hear whether Alex MacGregor has been named superintendent of the mental hospital […]
Kings Row is the county seat of a mid-west town. At the turn of the 20th century, it was the sort of place that people found a good to raise their children. Author Henry Bellamann takes us behind the lace curtains for a different view. Parris Mitchell’s parents are dead. His twice-widowed grandmother brings him […]
The Lovely Ambition, Mary Ellen Chase’s 1960 bestseller, is a warm, homey novel as comfortable as overstuffed armchairs and flowered chintz.