22 January 2014

Review: Kitty Foyle by Christopher Foyle

Hardcover, 340 pages
Published 1939

Acquired October 2008
Read December 2013
Kitty Foyle
by Christopher Morley

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.

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