Nov. Book Review
November Book Review
This Month's Book Review is being taken out of a Reader's Digest First
Edition Copyright 1964 by the Reader's Digest Association.
The Review is on the First Book Title. The book has 6 titles total.
Too Young To Be A Grandfather by Willard Temple
Published by Crown Publishers
Too Young To Be A Grandfather, Copyright 1964
Duncan Blake, stood alone just inside the entrance to the church, a
middle-aged man with a round reddish face, retreating hair--a victim
of female treachery, deserted in his hour of need. Nobody, he thought
sadly, had told him he would have to stand there suffering by himself
on this pleasant June evening. Inside the church, over the music, he
could hear the rustling of the audience and see heads turned toward
him. Then suddenly the door beside him opened and the rest of the
wedding party came in. Blake's wife, Mary, started down the aisle
on the arm of an usher, the procession of bridesmaids and ushers
began, and all at once Duncan was left alone with a girl in a wedding
He had raised her but she looked like a stranger: a small, slim girl with
dark curls and enormous brown eyes. She rested a hand lightly on his
arm, and then the pressure of her fingers tightened. "I think I need a
handkerchief," she said.
He fumbled for the one in his breast pocket and handed it to her.
"Everything's going to be all right."
"I know." She smiled, her eyes wet. "I love you, Daddy."
All twenty years of their life together were compressed into a moment.
"I love you, Susan," he said hoarsely. "Here we go."
As he matched his steps to hers, he kept his eyes on the wedding party
by the altar, the poised young women in pale green sheaths-when he
blinked he could see them still as little girls in shorts or Levis-the
minister, the best man, and the one responsible for it all, the groom.
P. Ashley Chester III, he thought, I don't know if I love you.
Then they were in position and he forgot his uncertain attitude toward
P. Ashley Chester III and began rehearsing his one big line. He saw Dr.
Fletcher beaming at him. His moment had come. "Her mother and I
do," he said, and stepped down beside his wife.
His role ended, Blake became aware of the guests behind him: all old
Goose Bay on the groom's side of the church; only newcomers on the
bride's side. The only exceptions were George Tolliver and his young
wife. There was no older name in Goose Bay than Tolliver, but George
was an eccentric, and likely enough was sitting on the bride's side to
demonstrate his independence.
Blake thought with a touch of irony that his only child had now
accomplished socially what he had failed to accomplish in eleven years
of business striving: she had merged with old Goose Bay.
Before Blake quite knew what had happened, the procession was
starting back down the isle. Outside, they posed for photographs,
and he and Mary walked to their car. "It went just fine," she said.
"It was lovely."
He looked sharply at her, impressed by her radiance but disturbed.
He'd lost her during the past few months. When Susan had announced
that she was going to marry P. Ashley Chester III, Mary had
disappeared. In her place had come a chief executive officer who had
calculated a budget, made no mistakes, forgotten nothing. Blake had
been compelled into a grudging admiration of such efficiency. But he
hadn't liked living with an executive. All day long, as manager of a
branch office of Prosper, Peake and Parks, member firm of the
New York Stock Exchange, he had to deal with facts. When he got
home at night he enjoyed dealing with feminine intuition, however
nutty it might be.
Like the time he had caught up with Mary driving ahead of him and
followed her, his blood pressure rising at every turn, until they reached
home. He had jumped out angrily. "I followed you eight blocks and
you didn't signal once for a turn."
"Oh, hello, dear," Mary said, casually putting a bag of groceries into
his arms. "Well, everyone around here knows me and where I live.
You, of all people, certainly knew where I was going."
It was the kind of remark typical of Mary and, while it almost made
him lose his mind, he was secretly enchanted by it.
Driving to the reception at the Pinecrest Country Club, Blake took
comfort in the thought that Mary didn't look like an executive.
Twenty-two years of marriage had pushed her from a hundred and
eight to a hundred and eighteen and turned the black hair pepper-
and-salt, but they had done nothing to the captivating smile and
the essential gleam that had drawn him to her years before.
"Everything arranged for their getaway?" he asked now.
"Their car's parked in that little turnaround below the putting
green. They will slip out the side door."
"He's got that fool sports car," Blake said. "He has to warm it up
for five minutes before he can move it."
"Duncan," Mary said, "when you talk about Chip, you always say
"he.' When are you going to start using his name?"
"I don't know him very well, " Blake said. "It takes a while to get to
know someone named P-for-Purvis Ashley Chester the Third."
"You know perfectly well that everyone calls him Chip. Purvis is an
old family name. He can't help it."
"Very old Goose Bay, Purvis and Chester. But Blake still has a 'wet
paint' sign on it, the way the Chesters look at it."
"The Chesters have been very pleasant," Mary said.
"You didn't detect the merest twitch of a Ridge Club upper lip? The
Ridge Club's old family, too. Better every way than Pinecrest. Better
course, better clubhouse."
"Stop talking nonsense," Mary said.
Blake parked the car and went into the club with Mary to stand before the
fireplace in the receiving line. This confronted him at once with Chip's
parents, Ann and P. Ashley Chester II.
Blake was annoyed with himself for feeling self-conscious in their
presence. It dated back, he knew to the prophecies of doom that had
accompanied him when he had opened the branch office here.
He had lived, before, in the metropolis a hundred miles south that was
always spoken of in Goose Bay as "The City." There, Blake had risen
to the position of assistant manager of his brokerage firm, but he was
not quite content.
On vacations and occasional weekends, he and Mary drove to the lake
country, stopping en route at Goose Bay, a small, neatly laid out city
with a clean-washed look. The summer Susan was eight, they had
stopped there for dinner. In the restaurant, Mary suddenly said, "I
wish we had a house in Goose Bay."
Blake, who had been thinking the same thing, was startled.
"I don't like raising a child in an apartment," she went on, "and I've
always felt that the suburbs are attached to a city, and not really towns.
So I do wish we lived here."
"Every time we've driven through Goose Bay," Duncan said, "I've
wondered what it would be like to live here. How, would you like to
stay overnight and look around?"
They had stayed and, in the morning, they toured residential districts
and schools. Then Blake had cautiously poked his head inside Goose
Bay's two investment offices.
Mary was dubious as they ate lunch. "If you could get a job with one
of these firms, you'd only be a registered representative. And you
have no clients here.
"I have another title in mind," Blake said. "But maybe I'm just dizzy
on Goose Gay air. Take Susie for a walk and I'll be back."
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