Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Trish, circa 1951

A friend loaned me a battered copy of Margaret Maze Craig's Trish which I enjoyed tremendously. In fact, it's what motivated me to finish Magyk. Since this was a title I hadn't read before, it made me realize something I had never realized before: "bad" girls must not have read books in the 1950s. Patricia is a "good" girl, so of course Dick Keating is enthralled by her and sets out to win her by trying to take her to a roadhouse and liquor her up, but he is so impressed by her strenghth of character that he realizes this is a bad idea. Of course, in the end, he thinks she has made free with another boy (which, my goodness, of course she hasn't!) and puts the moves on her, at which point she realizes that she couldn't possibly be in love with him. Every book I've come across has similar themes; girls who actually necked and petted must have had some serious self esteem issues if they did read.

Must quote one part that spoke to me as a mother in the new millenium:
"Saturday night supper was a casual meal at the Ingrams'. It was the one time of the week when Mrs. Ingram waited until the last minute to start preparations. It was, she said, a form of self-indulgence, but after all the bustle of getting ready for Sunday-- baking bread, frosting a layer cake, washing and sorting the vegetables, cleaning and stuffing the chicken (they always had either chicken or roast beeg on Sunday)-- she guessed maybe her family could put up with a hit-or-miss meal.... Tonight they were having cheese omelet, Harvard beets, pickles, freshly baked bread and homemade strawberry jam. "

This was, of course, eaten in the dining room, by candlelight.

Ye gods. And Trish still wanted to fall in love with Dick? In my mind, she would have been burning some undergarments and planning to run off to college and major in astrophysics, but I guess we are still a good 10-15 years away from that.

This is why I love historical teen fiction!

1 comment:

  1. Glad you "enjoyed" (?) the book!

    Now I feel like I need to re-read it, since last I read it was either in middle school or high school. That poor beaten book...

    I'm about to start "Hit the Road" (Cooney). Gotta finish another book first. It's a pokey reading month for me, this is. Very sad. Of course, I can't speed read...