- United States
St. Augustine, Confessions. It's been quite a few years. Always worth a revisit.
Poetry...an intriguing way to script a novel! How on earth did you happen to discover this literary treasure? I suspect I will be on the hunt to discover a local copy and give this one a read.View attachment 39078
Forsaking All Others A Novel in Verse by Alice Duer Miller published in 1931
I avoid reading verse for the same reason I avoid eating fish, while it can occasionally be wonderful, most of the time it has an off-putting smell and an offensive taste.
Okay, that's a harsh assessment of poetry/verse (and maybe, even, of fish) and not really fair, as I love some poems so much that I still think about them decades after I first read them (A Great Hope Fell by Dickinson and the Tomorrow and Tomorrow... soliloquy by Shakespeare are two). But those were "picked out" for me by the wobbly 1970's educational system of Central New Jersey; on my own, I just don't read poetry to find the rare good-tasting piece of fish.
So it was with trepidation that I opened Alice Duer Miller's Forsaking All Others A Novel in Verse. Heck, it was only because one of her novels was made into a B-movie I enjoyed (And One was Beautiful) that I even looked her work up - note the lowbrow way that I found myself in highbrow verse.
And here's where I'm supposed to tell you how the verse in this quite good - and very short - novel spoke to me / made me more of a fan of verse / blah, blah, blah - but, well, while the rhyming was neat and I occasionally fell into the rhythm, in truth, I enjoyed the novel for the story with the verse serving as an all but ignored sideshow. You can take the boy out of Jersey, but....
That said, it is a darn good story about a man, his wife and the woman with whom he has an affair. The characters are drawn in an almost The Twilight Zone manner where only necessary details of their lives are given: he's older (50s, my guess), New York successful and handsome; the wife is doughy, dowdy and devoted in a "first wife" way; and the mistress is youngish, but not for a single woman of that time (she's in her early 30s in, about, 1930 when the novel takes place), striking in appearance and embraces her role as mistress until she kinda doesn't.
To be sure, they all embrace their roles early on: the man genuinely avoids the mistress-to-be as he's been down this path before and doesn't want to hurt his suffering wife again; the wife knows it's going to happen (from the second she sees her husband and the woman meet) and is almost relieved when it starts; and the mistress is, well, hell bent on making it happen as she - unusual for the time - acknowledges her feral physical desire for the man and, call it what it is, stalks him.
The affair starts and sails along as expected - secret mid-day rendezvous, weekend romps when he's "away on business," fun gifts, little inside jokes, plenty of slap and tickle - while the wife suffers in silence. Yes, you want her to stand up and fight or leave or do something, but she is not a stand-up-and-fight-or-leave-or-do-something wife; she's been down this path before and believes her best strategy is to ignore it and let it burn out as, then, he'll return to her.
And she's not wrong until she is. After the early perfect, the seams in the affair start to pull apart a bit. When one or the other breaks an assignation, the ugly head of jealously rears up followed by recriminations, anger, explanations, forgiveness and resumption, but with a little less joy each time. Just when it looks as if the affair is about to wind down or, conversely, blow up the marriage - yup, it could either way - a surprising third path appears and changes everything. That I'll leave for those who want to read it.
It didn't change my opinion about verse, nor is it really a novel - a long short story à la The Saturday Evening Post is more accurate - but it is an interesting approach to, and twist on, the sadly timeless story of married boy meets single girl while wife suffers.
I backed into it by accident only because I liked the movie "And One Was Beautiful." So, I looked it up on IMDB.com and found out that the author of the novel that the movie was based on is Alice Duer Miller. After that, it was all Googling and then to one of my favorite old book sites:Poetry...an intriguing way to script a novel! How on earth did you happen to discover this literary treasure? I suspect I will be on the hunt to discover a local copy and give this one a read.
Thanks for the leads...that will save me a lot of looking and the prices are pleasantly reasonable. I willl provide a report after reading the book! Take care and have a great day.I backed into it by accident only because I liked the movie "And One Was Beautiful." So, I looked it up on IMDB.com and found out that the author of the novel that the movie was based on is Alice Duer Miller. After that, it was all Googling and then to one of my favorite old book sites:
I just did a search for the book there (use this link ⇩):
Plenty of good copies available for less than $10.
Take a look at this copy ⇩ ($8.89 all in with shipping):
I've been buying books from ABE for (wild guess) about two decades now and have almost never been disappointed with the condition of the book versus its description - 99% of the time, the description is accurate.
Good luck - it's a quick but interesting read.
Newt wrote a series of "what if" books on the Civil War-all excellent reads. Anyhow, the point of my reply was that I met Newt about 15 years or so ago, and had a brief, but very engaging discussion (more a lecture!) with/from him, concerning politics. My view was that of a conservative Republican, and I made a generalized statement against Democrats. Newt proceeded to lecture me about the absolute need for a two-party system in this country, along with respect between the parties.Newt Gingrich, the 50th Speaker of the House of Representatives, a male Republican version of Nancy Pelosi, has never allowed much moss to grow under his vocational moccasins. A long time politition, a historian, a college professor, a keystone speaker of note and now an author, Newt collaborated with Jounnalist Pete Earley to write a novel, titled Treason. The book is an arguably spell binding yarn about international and domestic terrorism in this beloved Country we call home. An Islamic extremist bad guy calling himself "The falcon," is orchestrating acts of domestic terrorism in the US of A, through the efforts of another Islamic extremist Jihadist calling himself Viper, who is a highly placed mole in the the DC political apparatus. Attempts are made on the Presidents life, The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff takes a shot to the head in an assassination attempt, eight young school girls and two instructors in a ritzy Virginia private school are murdered and two other girls , one the daughter of a congressman and the other the ward of a distinguished, highly decorated female member of our military, are kidnapped and will be murdered unless the USA agrees to release 100+ Islamic Terrorists from GITMO.
Newt Gingrich is one who understands our Federal Government and has a solid understanding of International and Domestic Terrorism and that understanding shows through in the telling of his first novel. The book will secure your attention and hold it firmly from the first to the last pages. It is a good read!