AUGUST 21, 1951
HYDE PARK, Monday—Wonderful days but with a touch of autumn in the air in the early mornings and evenings. That depresses me somewhat, for as usual the summer has gone by and I have accomplished nothing, not even all the reading I would like to do.
However, I want to mention a book, a bit of light summer reading which you will not be able to enjoy until September 12th, its publication date.
It happens to be a novel by a young woman whom I have known for a long time. I knew her first when her sons were babies. I saw them grow to be little boys and now they are nearly grown up. Probably most of them think they are completely grown.
She came from the South and when you read the book you will see that it breathes the spirit of her Southern heritage. It is called: "The Mother of The Groom," a novel, by Harriet Fitts Ryan. Every woman who has seen her children grow up, fall in love and marry, will appreciate the tenderness, the rapid passage in her mind of the years of childhood, the effort to realize that the child is now a man or that the girl is now a woman.
There is delicious humor in this story. The situations that exist in every family, I think, will be recognized and enjoyed, though they may be slightly different. Anyway, if you want to spend a few hours of delightful, relaxing entertainment I would advise this book as soon as you can get it.
In the last few days I have read a novel called "The United," by Carlos P. Romulo. How that busy gentleman found the time to learn the art of novel writing, I do not know.
The story is rather banal but the handling of the dialogue is skillfully done. After all, the story is a minor part of this book, for the really interesting study is the writer himself. He is a keen observer and his character delineations are extraordinarily sensitive and well done.
He could not have written this book at the present time unless he put it in novel form, for here and there a word or a description will give you a hint of the real people he had in mind.
No character may be any one person you could put your finger on, but all his characters have suggestions of different people that make you sigh or chuckle as you read.
The really important part of the book is Mr. Romulo's confession of faith. He believes in the United Nations. He believes in human beings so strongly that he holds to the hope that someday they may be able to work out methods by which peace can be preserved in the world.
There are moments when this belief is largely an act of faith. Many people in this country and in other lands would prefer not to have that faith—shortsighted people, people who think they can still hold on to individual power.
They are becoming fewer in the world, I think, and the number of "The United" is growing stronger. So it is good to have a man who avows his faith and makes it easy for people to read by giving them a very readable novel.