Posts Tagged ‘mariathompsondaviess’

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Ads: The Melting of Molly

October 28, 2010

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Andrew the Glad

October 27, 2010

I really didn’t like Andrew the Glad, which was disappointing. I liked the two Maria Thompson Daviess books I’d read previously, and I liked the ad campaign for this one, but unfortunately neither of those things are actually relevant.

Andrew the Glad came out in 1913, like V.V.’s Eyes, and it’s also set in a city in the South (I think this one is Nashville). Both books deal with the growth of the cities involved,but Henry Sydnor Harrison  was in favor of progress, and Maria Thompson Davies…may have thought she was interested in progress. But the fact is that everything “good” in the world of the book is massed on the side that includes all the available Confederate veterans and their friends, and the way forward is inextricably bound up with feelings of nostalgia; the other side consists solely of corruption and booze. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Phyllis

May 27, 2010

The Melting of Molly was nice, but Phyllis was better.

There are some basic similarities — the first-person narration, the particular kind of diary format the author uses, the deliberate obliviousness — but the two books feel fairly different.

Once cause of that, from which most of the others probably follow is that Phyllis is not a widow in her twenties, but a fifteen year old schoolgirl. She starts her diary (which is named Louise) when she and her parents move to the town of Byrdsville for the sake of her mother’s health. It’s never clear what exactly is wrong with the mother, but she’s always been an invalid, she’s going to die soon, and the nurse won’t let her husband and daughter see her because it makes her worse. Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Melting of Molly

May 25, 2010

The Melting of Molly is by Maria Thompson Daviess, whose last name really is spelled like that, and it was a bestseller in 1912.

The melting in question is a metaphorical description of Molly falling in love, of course, but it’s nominally meant to refer to weight loss. Molly Carter is a twenty-five year old widow, and this book is supposed to be her diary, written to keep track of her diet and exercise regimes.

Mr. Carter, dead approximately one year, was nobody particularly interesting–just someone Molly married after Al Bennett, the young man she was in love with, had gone off into the world to try and make a name for himself or something. That was when Molly was seventeen, and now Al Bennett, having heard that Mr. Carter is out of the picture, has started sending Molly love letters and talking about coming home. Apparently he expects to see her in the same dress she was wearing when he left, only that was eight years ago, and it doesn’t quite fit. And by “quite” I mean “at all.” Read the rest of this entry ?