"You never get to know how humane folks can be until you meet them away from their job. But how's about having a job that lets you be human at the same time?" -Kitty Foyle Christopher Morley
I picked a copy of it out of the garbage a while back, and recently though to myself it would be safe reading for an NJ transit commuter on the edge. You feel safe with someone you're familiar with primarily as the founder of a Sherlock Holmes fan club. Victim of a bait and switch, I was taken in by the opening, I'm a fan of colorful fictional childhood memoirs, then it went and became a 'modern problems' novel on me. Who knew he founded a Sherlock Holmes fan club and wrote one of the infamous soap opera novels of the 1930's. I can't tell you how wretched this book made me. I was so upset I tried to jog the 8 flights to my office and almost had a stroke around the third floor. My legs total unwillingness to comply with the unreasonable request of my brain saved me.
Its very well written, you really do love the title character before you realize they are going to slide into, well modernity. This kind of distracts your eye from the fact that the setup for the tragedy doesn't quite make any sense (just what is so terrible that you have to flee from the prospect about going to college, visiting Europe and marrying the man you love, even if he is an upper class twit). Unlikely as that is, and as hard as it is to believe America once had upper class twits, the part cynical, part hurt, half oblivious way Kitty stumbles through life is all to familiar.
I suppose its good to be reminded that the world has always been falling apart and you can't just blame it on the hippies, and that you need to take the dominant myths of a past era with a grain of salt. Maybe if the 'greatest generation' applied themselves a bit more steadily to killing Hitler and a bit less to being screw-ups they'd have gotten it done sooner...