The Book of Susan

A Novel

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Author: Lee Wilson Dodd
Published: 1920
Language: English
Wordcount: 95,745 / 283 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 62.6
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 568
Added to site: 2010.08.11 28685

Now this "Susan" is a somewhat strange person for a heroine. She springs full-grown from the head of her Birch Street Zeus into the house and life of her wealthy educator, and yet, despite her young matureness, she is much of an experimentalist and a gypsy, forever roving and discursive. This shows both in her mental and physical moods. She embodies much of the spirit of youthful America and if she were flippant one might care to prophesy a George Sand's life for her when she reaches the thirties. But this is an idle conjecture. What we do know is that "Susan" is presented to us with much appeal--the appeal of her understanding, catholic heart and of her conceiver's style, which is terse and informal without being journalistic and undignified, and eminently full of tangy and subtle humor. She is the work of an author who is a psychologist--one who seems to see the little things and to estimate the big things. The frankly confessed fault of the book is that it has no narrative order; its virtue is that it does not need any... other than what Mr Dodd's professional technique compels him not to mention.

Show Excerpt

--very much, be it admitted, to the relief of Jimmy Kane, who had lived for three weeks nursing a lonely fear of dark reprisals.


There was one thing about Bob Blake's four-room house--it exactly fitted his family. The floor plan was simple and economically efficient. Between the monolithic door slab--relic of a time when Bob's house had been frankly "in the country"--and the public street lay a walk formed of a single plank supported on chance-set bricks. From the door slab one stepped through the front doorway directly into the parlor. Beyond the parlor lay the kitchen, from which one could pass out through a narrow door to a patch of weed-grown back yard. A ladderlike stair led up from one side of the kitchen, opposite to the single window and the small coal range. At the top of the stair was a slit of unlighted hallway with a door near either end of it. The door toward Birch Street gave upon the bedroom occupied by Bob and Pearl; the rearward door led to Susan's sternly ascetic cubiculum.

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