I pulled out my old library card and visited the new library at Salem State College. It took me several minutes to communicate to the young, texting college student working the front desk exactly what I was looking for, but I was finally directed to head to the basement level of the brand new building (strangely it was just one floor down but I could only access it by a giant elevator). I found a copy of Booth Tarkington’s The Magnificent Amerbsons stowed away on a shelf way in the back.
I love this book.
This 1918 novel takes place in the late 1800s and is a delight. I am about half way through and am realizing that the hero is not going to be the affluent, spoiled-rotten George Amberson as we are led to believe, but the sweet, modest, seemingly-sneaky Lucy Morgan. Lucy is a stunning beauty who is quietly intelligent and has no problem smiling behind her lover-gifted bouquet while mocking the extreme waste of money and other resources of the times. Lucy and her father (an inventor who turns a sewing machine into an automobile, and is told “Git a hos! Git a hos!” when he drives it around town) become a refreshing duo in a town of people who dote on the Amberson family. Between dances at balls and chilly sleigh rides it seems that George and Lucy may fall in love and perhaps she will knock some sense into him.