Herself for the three of them Despite the reader s initial reaction to Mrs Bascomb s character as she dismisses so insensitively the concerns of after school parental crowd in the first chapter one s sympathy cannot but be engaged as this novel progresses It is heartbreakingly honest in its expose of Mrs Bascomb s determination to make a success of her son s marriageIt is not until Lottie has a baby that things begin to change for Mary Bascomb Seeing her beloved deceased husband in her granddaughter s eyes she begins to find purpose and meaning behind her martyrdom and danger Her granddaughter cannot be left to such a mother as her son s wife is to raise What to doFull of surprises Dorothy Canfield Fisher is an accomplished author bringing characters to life exposing human dilemmas and revealing motivations that are often hidden from oneself but visible to others She deftly weaves together a story that moves uickly I just had to find out how this was going to be resolved Although this novel is not the light sweetly happily ever after type of literature in fact it was uite exasperating to read at times the choices made in this novel are sooo frustrating to see it is also realistic and thought provoking The uestion is not what mother does not want the best for her son but rather to what lengths should a mother go to ensure the well being of her family Although with the best of intentions despite her faults Mary Bascomb finds herself consumed by guilt and constantly weighing the conseuences of her sacrificial love It is also possible to see how her character and even outlook changes as her circumstances bring her to the point of decisions that not only affect her family but although un looked for also herselfAlthough I never did find myself appreciating Lottie or even Mrs Bascomb herself very much I found understanding and sympathy for their plight as I came to the final pages In Her Son s Wife the author does not try to whitewash Mary Bascomb s manipulative behavior rather she leaves it to the reader to decide whether her influence upon her daughter in law is worth the sacrifice to save her granddaughter She grew afraid of a uestion which asked itself of her like a far away half heard voice in moments when her mind was not intent on active thoughts It asked her What is the use of being so right and others being so wrong if it does not help ou to serve the one human being who needs ouI will be looking for of Dorothy Canfield Fisher s wor. Ns of regaining her supremacy First published in 1926 Her Son's Wife incisively explores the destructive potential of a mother's love for her son A story of possession and the misuse of emotional power it is a memorable work with an acid edg.
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Focusses on characters struggles ethical dilemmas and growth in day to day situations and relationships as she does in Her Son s Wife But two thirds through this story of a woman s unhappiness with her daughter in law the plot takes an odd twist and the characters and situations become unbelievable At least two plot twists that were totally unexpected and one of them kind of macabre An interesting read Could have used some editing Mary Bascomb is a proud independent woman and she has a right to be After all not only is she an accomplished teacher in the local school district she has raised a son Ralph solely by herself after her husband died early in the marriage Her plans for her son include law school like his father and grandfather before him Ralph is presently completing his pre law university degree and the only thing left now is to find Ralph a wife but he won t need to lift a finger as Mary Bascomb has a wife picked out for him groomed awaiting the proper time perhaps after law school in the wingsObviously Mary Bascomb is a woman who likes to be in control she was the one who always had to see to everything Ralph was so careless and heedless He was a good boy Ralph was but not uick to see changes in his mother s mood absorbed in his own trivial interests She often had to exaggerate her expression before he took note of it Although it was true that when he had been selfish and careless and had hurt her he was uneasy till she allowed herself to smile and forgive him and be cheerful again Yes Ralph was much easier to manage than many boys would have beenAfter a particularly trying day at school with parents waiting in line to speak to her about their child s progress or lack thereof in her classroom Mrs Bascomb finds a letter waiting in her mailbox a letter from Ralph He divulges the news that he has married a girl he met from his college townWhat is Mrs Bascomb to do After a long agonizing sleepless night Mrs Bascomb grits her teeth and sets her course Ever the one to do the right thing she sends a telegram welcoming the oung couple into her homeNeedless to say this book is full of surprises Not only is Lottie not the choice Mary Bascomb picked for her son but Lottie is flighty careless in speech and manners slothful and generally an all around poor choice for her son What to doMrs Bascomb s life begins to change as she returns home from a long day at school to a disorderly house dirty dishes in the sink and dinner to prepare by. R nothing against the impact this slovenly oung woman has upon Ralph's affections Humiliated and rebuffed Mary constructs a barrier of indignation against this marriage And when the pleasure of self righteous disapproval fades devises a mea.
This author was popular when I was a kid but I m just now reading her books I ve read this and The Homemaker and they were even intriguing because of the fact that they were written in the 20s this one and into the 40s The Homemaker I think or 50s She went to Ohio State and lived her adult life in Vermont Very interesting writer This isn t my favourite by Canfield there are no likeable characters although I felt a bit sorry for the sonhusband who was stuck in between two manipulative women Mrs Bascomb the mother in law knows that her actions will result in her daughter in law almost being buried alive Bascomb s conscience pricks her she runs about constantly washing her hands like Lady Macbeth but not for long The important thing to Bascomb is that she rules the roost a ghastly character I reached for this volume because Dorothy Canfield Fisher s name is synonymous with Vermont literature at least in a way There s a children s literature award given in her name annuallyThat said it was interesting to read a novel written by the Great Lady though not for the kiddies It features a domineering schoolmarm her passively aggressive prodigal son and the trashy wife he marries Said ds must come to terms with her desire to manipulate everyone in her path the traditional means of power gathering in the olde days for the love of her grandchild who is the light that shines through a path otherwise strewn with tacky temptationsInteresting This is a terrific send up of sentimental maternalism and shows one family as a place where venality can play out in microcosm That in the case of Mary Bascomb it all pivots around a supreme self righteousness makes it a lesson for any time The moral is complicated by the main character s success everything seems to work out uite well I don t want to spoil it with too much analysis this is a creepy page turner that will surprise ou in its subtlety It s been a long time since I couldn t put down a book This was riveting I loved this book At 63 it touched me like a book seldom does Right time in life for me to discover this gem Considering this book is nearly 100 The Janitor (The Contenders, years old the prose seemed modern and fresh Vividly drawn characters involving descriptions of emotions A storyline that pulls the reader along with urgency Loved it and want to read of this author s work I ve read and enjoyed this author s The Bent Twig The Brimming Cup Seasoned Timber and the Homemaker as well as some of her short stories She often. Lottie cheaply dressed and cheaply perfumes shatters Mary Bascomb's life undermining not only the neat comfort of her home but also her carefully laid plans for her son's future Mary'sears of control both as a mother and a teacher count fo.
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Also wrote under the name Dorothy Canfield Dorothy Canfield Fisher February 17 1879 – November 9 1958 was an educational reformer social activist and best selling American author in the early decades of the twentieth century She strongly supported women's rights racial euality and lifelong education Eleanor Roosevelt named her one of the ten most influential women in the United States