Her Son’s Wife by Dorothy Canfield Fisher 1926

     This book struck chords with me both as a former teacher and as a daughter. Mary Bascomb is a teacher, mother, mother in law and eventually grandmother. She has been accustomed to being the center and controlling influence in her son Ralph’s world until the unexpected arrival of Lottie Hicks, his new wife. Lottie is someone who cannot be controlled by Mrs Bascomb and the latter has finally met her match. The sparks begin to fly until Mrs Bascomb changes her ways grudgingly. The arrival and life sustaining entrance of her grand daughter into her life propels her to take action. How she copes with this situation is the pivotal part of the book. It presents the reader with a moral conundrum. Fisher’s description of family hostilities, and turmoil is very truthfully and sharply reported. All the character’s helplessness in this whirlpool of emotions is palpably felt by the reader. Mrs Bascomb makes a major decision which has a profound effect on the livesof each of the family circle. This reader had difficulty accepting that decision even though it had a positive outcome for all concerned. The moral justification for the decision is left to the reader to sort out for him or herself.

     Overall, a fascinating and insightful read and a book that is unnecessarily neglected by posterity as it speaks to anyone who has ever been part of a family unit which is the vast majority of us.

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2 Responses to Her Son’s Wife by Dorothy Canfield Fisher 1926

  1. kat says:

    I’ve enjoyed some of Dorothy Canfield Fisher’s books, and will move this title to the TBR list. One of her novels I really loved, but whether it was The Brimming cup or The Bent Twig I can’t remember. Something about her titles…

    (By the way, you’ve won the copy of Elizabeth Taylor’s shortsstories at Frisbee: A Book Journal.)

  2. kayclifton says:

    Hi Kat, I hope that you’re able to read the reply that I sent to the reader who just commented about my “Virgin in the Garden” review. As I said to her I hope that I can return to review writing or even just posting my thoughts informally about other books that I’ve read since my last visit to my site. I am now reading a biography of Ellen Glasgow. I just read “Dance Night” by Dawn Powell but had to give up on it because it seemed too stilted and contrived. Previous to “Dance Night”, I read the first volume of Janet Frame’s autobiography and thought that it was wonderful.


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