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Reviews by Leah A. Zeldes

The Little Warrior

by Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

Also titled "Jill the Reckless," this Wodehouse comic romance is a fine example of what the author called a musical comedy without any music. It features the Woosterlike character Freddie Rooke, but the plot revolves around his childhood friend, Jill Mariner, whose engagement to the up-and-coming young Sir Derek Underhill, a baronet and M.P., founders after the latter's strong-willed and disapproving mother comes on the scene. It differs from the typical Wodehouse farce in that once the action shifts from London to New York, it moves away from a fanciful view of a high society that never quite existed to what seems likely a reasonably accurate look at the theater business of its period.

Reviewed on 2016.01.26

Jill the Reckless

by Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

Also titled "The Little Warrior," this Wodehouse comic romance is a fine example of what the author called a musical comedy without any music. It features the Woosterlike character Freddie Rooke, but the plot revolves around his childhood friend, Jill Mariner, whose engagement to the up-and-coming young Sir Derek Underhill, a baronet and M.P., founders after the latter's strong-willed and disapproving mother comes on the scene. It differs from the typical Wodehouse farce in that once the action shifts from London to New York, it moves away from a fanciful view of a high society that never quite existed to what seems likely a reasonably accurate look at the theater business of its period.

Reviewed on 2016.01.26

The Status Civilization

by Robert Sheckley

Sheckley's 1960 novel postulates a future in which the criminals of Earth are stripped of their memories and shipped to a prison planet where crime rules and from whence there is no possible return. While the action surrounding prisoner Will Barrent is interesting, and Sheckley's commentary on human society amusing, the prison planet has neither reality nor absurdity enough to hold the plot together. It's all too clean.

Reviewed on 2016.01.11

Love's Shadow

by Ada Leverson

This surprisingly modern-feeling comedy of manners contrasts the dull life of Edith Otley, a young matron with a tiresomely narcissistic and fatuous husband and somewhat straitened means, with the more exciting one of her friend Hyacinth Verney, a substantial heiress, single, beautiful, charming and independent.

The story mainly concerns the courtship of Hyacinth and Cecil Reeve. She's in love with him, but he loves another woman, Eugenia Raymond, a widow 10 years his senior. The widow refuses him, so he falls back on Hyacinth on the rebound. However, her awareness of his devotion to Mrs. Raymond impinges on their relationship.

The writing is excellent. Those who think the language of Jane Austen and Fanny Burney somewhat stilted and old-fashioned should find this more to their liking. The ending seems rather abrupt and unsatisfying, however.

Reviewed on 2016.01.11

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Pat Dunlap Evans
When Pat Dunlap Evans isn't dreaming about vacationing in Hawaii, she enjoys exploring the minds of her characters and writing about their inner st
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