Posts Tagged ‘olivehigginsprouty’


Now, Voyager

July 29, 2011

I’ve read it now. It’s lovely. Why do people use “women’s fiction” as a derogatory term?

I was lucky enough not to remember the movie very well when I read the book, so I came to it with only a vague idea of the plot. Not that the movie isn’t good — I went and found it streaming online as soon as I’d finished the book–but the book is better, as books often are.

Now, Voyager is the story of Charlotte Vale — a dumpy, unattractive, unhappy spinster under the thumb of a wealthy and autocratic mother — and her transformation into a well-liked and attractive woman who has a lot to offer, and knows it. First an extremely intelligent psychiatrist shows her how to change, and then a cruise ticket unwanted by its owner gives her the opportunity to do it. Add a weight-reducing illness and her sister-in-law’s cast-off (but still fashionable) wardrobe, and Charlotte has as much of a clean slate as one could realistically expect. Read the rest of this entry ?


The Fifth Wheel

July 8, 2011

Hello, all. Since I last posted, I’ve moved and started a new job. Things have been, as you might expect, a bit crazy, and I don’t really know what my posting schedule is going to look like going forward. But I’ve got several posts in the pipeline, a pretty exciting TBR list, and I’ve bought a few really entertaining-looking books. And I’m almost as enthusiastic about Olive Higgins Prouty as I was at the beginning of June.

One of the things I liked about Bobbie, General Manager was that each of the Vars siblings had their own divergent  paths. They were recognizably a family, but they were also recognizably individuals. The bits of their stories that we saw tended to underline how much of what went on with Bobbie/Lucy passed under everyone else’s radar, which implied that the opposite was happening as well.

That’s confirmed in The Fifth Wheel. Of all the non-Lucy siblings, we got the most of Ruth’s story, and Bobbie ended with her engagement to Lucy’s professor friend, Bob Jennings. The Fifth Wheel shows us how little of Ruth’s story that actually was. And, perhaps, just how much of a misfit a seemingly well-adjusted person can be. Read the rest of this entry ?


Bobbie, General Manager

June 1, 2011

It’s pretty cool to find that an advertising campaign from 1913 can still be effective nearly a hundred years later.

When I go through issues of Publisher’s Weekly and The Bookman from the early teens, I’m usually looking for fluff — things like From the Car Behind, and Pleasures and Palaces. And I love that kind of book, but I consider myself incredibly lucky when I stumble on something like Bobbie, General Manager instead. The premise isn’t anything unusual: we’re supposed to be reading a journal kept by a young woman, as in Phyllis, The Heart of Una Sackville, and any number of other books. What’s different is the content, but I’m not really sure how to describe how it’s different, except that Olive Higgins Prouty never takes the easy way out. On the other hand, she doesn’t manufacture drama, either. Interesting things happen, but in a low-key, sensible kind of way. Money doesn’t solve problems. The heroine’s story doesn’t end with happily ever after. People change and grow. It’s kind of fantastic. Read the rest of this entry ?


Advertisements: Bobbie, General Manager

June 1, 2011

Who’s Bobbie? Read the rest of this entry ?