A Gradual Joy
by Alma Routsong
Copyright Year: 1953
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
No. of Pages: 199
No. In Series:
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KIRKUS REVIEW A staid love story emphasizes the growth and change that come through loving rather than the initial romantic attraction-good things take time and work. Jim Seton, while convalescing from a war wound, decides to marry the dumpy, emotionally undeveloped Henrietta, who works at the hospital and is determined to become a doctor. They go to Michigan State together, live in a trailer camp, and get to know the other young couples. As the months go by Henrietta awakens to herself as a woman, loses weight, dresses conventionally rather than atrociously, and learns the household arts. After she has a baby, she decides motherhood is a more important career for her than a medical one. Jim discovers that he has a wife who will wear his glasses in old age, that the lives he thought would part and join again are truly merged, and accepts a wife who might have been wittier but not more loving or womanly. This story of a marriage a-borning as seen through the eyes of the husband has almost a dispassionate air — one sometimes feels that Henrietta is being put on a microscope slide that she might have used in her medical studies. For those who like a stable, sensible romance — a book which older readers may enjoy.
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