Book Review: Cress Delahanty by Jessamyn West

Finished a book last night that you might like.  It was published in 1945–in sections–some in the New Yorker, Ladies’ Home Journal, Harper’s Magazine, etc.

It’s the story of teenager Cress Delahanty—from age twelve to age sixteen.  Remember?  Do you remember your teenaged years?  The newness of everything, the dreams, the DRAMA of everyday life?

It’s all here as Cress, short for Crescent, writes in her journal, explores new friendships, seeks popularity, gets interested in boys.  It was written in 1945, but still rang true for my own memories.  I’d be curious to know what a teenaged girl would think of the story today.

The parts of the book I liked the best were the points of view of Mr. and Mrs. Delahanty as they tried to fathom what their daughter was going to do next—what pickle she would get herself into.  (Do you mind if I end that sentence with a preposition?  Didn’t think so.)  And the parents don’t really seem too concerned with the freedom that Cress has in generally gallivanting around town.  Times were different then?

There are several, really, several humorous parts—Mr. Delahanty somewhat of a card . . . and the book flew along in just a couple of evenings of reading.

It’s not all song and dance, and has an unpleasant chapter—which makes me think that the author’s intended audience was adult readers.    Jessamyn West wrote 5 novels (I read Leafy Rivers years ago) and she’s most well-known for the book (and film) The Friendly Persuasion.

See if your library has it—let me know your opinion of the book.


(See National Button Week part 4 in this blog . . .)

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