The Wilsons

By Christopher LaFargeCOWARD-MC CANN
FAIRLEE WILSON is already famous because of her appearance in the New Yorker. Here is all we already knew about her, and more besides. She is still climbing the social ladder in Providence, Rhode Island, with a willing daughter and a reluctant husband and son; fibbing, bluffing, pulling wires, making mistakes, imitating Mrs. Green, Mrs. Medford, Mrs. Folsom, who have long since arrived at the top: always ridiculous and yet a little pathetic and somehow likable. Young Chester, her son, who is a joy; Hector, the realistic chauffeur, too, too true to life; Marylyn Friederichs, the governess and perfect snob, who writes letters to Dear Gwladys; Zella Gardiner, the artist who has never heard of punctuation; the Countess de Fresne, born in Milwaukee and now industriously soaking herself in gin; and Fairlee’s husband Joe, who, by being merely Joe, jumps up the ladder over her head almost without knowing it — these and more provide the laughs, which are almost constant. I vote for Chester, so interested in the Stomach Sensation, and the Countess, who explains her alcoholic irrigation by saying, ‘Perhaps it’s the Swede in me. I’m a small neutral country, and I can’t take it.’
R. M. G.