The Thinking 

Before There Was Chick Lit

June 26, 2012


PENNY writes:

Your recent entry on women who want to have it all made me think of the author Emilie Loring. She wrote romances from the 1930s through the ’50s. Her heroines were spirited, can-do women who tried to make the world a better place. They had a sense of humor, were loving, and believed in family. The heroes were hard-working men who, like the heroines, placed duty above personal desires.

I thought you might enjoy this excerpt from When Hearts are Light Again, a World War II-era story. The heroine has left her secretarial job in Washington D.C. to care for her doctor brother and his two teen-age children as his wife has joined the Auxiliary Corps. Here is what the brother says after a hard day:

…but if ever there was a time when wives and mothers are tragically needed on the home front, it is the present. As I go my rounds every day I am more and more impressed by that fact. Found four-year-old twins, tied up in a yard, today. No one around. Mother and father both working in a factory…The twelve-to-seventeen-year youngsters are bewildered emotionally as they are pushed in this turbulent, adult world, into work for which they have no educational or vocational training, in many cases with more money to spend in a week than they’ve had before in their whole lives. They are in tragic need of affectionate guidance and sympathy from their mothers to help them understand themselves and their problems.

I’m not seeing much difference in Mrs. Loring’s present and ours.

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