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Kitty Foyle by Christopher Morley

Kitty Foyle (1939)

by Christopher Morley

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Many years ago, I was delighted and charmed by Morley's Parnassus on Wheels, so when I saw another Morley novel, I grabbed it right off. Kitty Foyle tells the tale of its eponymous narrator, a lower-middle-class Philadelphia girl growing up between the wars, especially her love affair with a member of the Philadelphia gentry. It's good fun, though I never quite warmed to the romance to the extent that Morley wanted me to, I think. Still, there's a lot of great lines and insights, especially when Kitty is still growing up-- one of those books where you annoy people around you by constantly reading bits aloud.

It gets surprisingly racy at times, or at least I think it does; I'm not familiar enough with 1930s literature to really be sure. All I know is that if Frances Hodgson Burnett had been writing this a decade earlier, Kitty would have been "secretly married" before she had sex, and Kitty doesn't do that-- but the novel's 1940 film adaptation apparently does, which I guess gives you a barometer of its relative raciness.
  Stevil2001 | Jan 22, 2014 |
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All the requirements of the novelist are subsidiary to this, that he shall in his pages show us the result of the workings of the heart and brain, of the body, soul, and spirit of actual or possible human beings. --George Saintsbury, The English Novel (1892)
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What a grand guy.
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Morley's best-selling novel describes the life of a working-class Irish American woman and her affair with the son of a prominent Philadelphia family.
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Ginger Rogers plays a young woman torn between two men--one a rich, upper-crust Bostonian playboy, and the other, a poor doctor. While trying to decide between the two, she flashes back through the history of both relationships.

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