Julia is twenty, "the prettiest girl in town," and too kind and gentle to turn anyone down. Each of her lovers lives in the fool's paradise of his own rose-colored imaginaton. A gay and joyous book.
"I don't care what language they're in," the stubborn Florence insisted. "It's what you do, just the same: cluckling and chuttering!"
Herbert's manners went to pieces. "Oh, dry up!" he bellowed.
"That's a nice way to talk! So gentlemanly----"
"Well, you try be a lady, then!"
"'Try!'" Florence echoed. "Well, after that, I'll just politely thank you to dry up, yourself, Mister Herbert Atwater!"
At this Herbert became moody. "Oh, pfuff!" he said; and for some moments walked in silence. Then he asked: "Where you goin', Florence?"
The damsel paused at a gate opening upon a broad lawn evenly divided by a brick walk that led to the white-painted wooden veranda of an ample and honest old brick house. "Righ' there to grandpa's, since you haf to know!" she said. "And thank you for your delightful comp'ny which I never asked for, if you care to hear the truth for once in your life!"
Herbert meditated. "Well, I got nothin' else to do, as I know of,
The great child delineator Booth Tarkington has provided plenty of funny material in this story--- and most of it comes, naturally, from the things that the children in this novel do. In my opinion few other writers describe adolescent behaviour so humorously as Tarkington does; 'Seventeen' is a prime example. In this book the best part is when Florence, in an attempt to spare Noble Dill's feelings, breaks the news of Julia's engagement through her cousin's newspaper, which she is able to take over and edit using a well-planned, judiciously implemented threat of blackmail.
Gentle Julia is one of the nicest books of my young girlhood. Young Florence is a liberated female many decades before it was common.
A delightful story. If you liked the Penrod book, this will delight. If you have a preteen daughter, this is a must read.