15 January 2022

Book Review

Title: This Thing Called Love

Publication Date: 1961

First Edition

This book may be the most captivating find ever in a Little Free Library for me. The story is set in a vague setting in the western part of the United States in the mid twentieth century. As such, it offers a slice of Americana that has sadly disappeared long ago and it does so in an enchanting style. I was bemused throughout the entire read by the language which was filled with colloquialisms and turns of phrases, many that I had to look up.

The overarching storyline is really a cultural statement of the times about the “gentler sex” trying to establish independence within the confines of serving their roles as wives, mothers, cooks, housecleaners and the like. The primary mother/wife figure in the tale tries to break out of her prescribed station by reading “Great Books” and putting off the chores of the day. But, at the same time, she appears to get everything done so the message is double edged. Sort of a precursor to women “having it all” with career and family which was possibly a bit racy for its era.

Some choice phrases included the following:

“sand pile days” (as versus preschool days I assume)

“eyelashes you could see by the yard” (to describe the femme fatale in the story)

“cat-wet and scared”

“general indigo mood”

“spirits sagging so low you practically tripped on them like shoestrings.”

“I remain rooted like a petrified stump.”

“she glaumed onto him” (used several times but this spelling seems an archaic version of ‘glom’)

“the box of walnut dreams” (can’t pin this one down but might be a candy?)

“the owners are elderly people in their fifties” (um….)