A Question of Age

by Kathryn Martin. Tompson & Rutter, $14.95 This unpretentious true story is commended to anyone who enjoys teenagers or unduly dreads old age: a shy, elderly bookworm becomes housemother to fifty rackety girls—and their innumerable boyfriends—at a New England junior college. “Wadleigh” is one of those “in-between places” where the not-terribly-bright are sent to grow up, and the time is 1969-1970, the year of Cambodia and Kent State, when the generation gap yawned widest. Much that shocks Mrs. Martin at first is old hat now: girls stoned, girls drunk, girls promiscuous. Much was never news: girls endearing, girls silly, girls in and out of love and trouble. But rarely since Little Women have plain, everyday girls been so closely and kindly observed. If anybody still needs to know “what a woman wants,” at any age, Mrs. Martin’s sensitive account has the answer: growth, purpose, and a climate of affection.
—Esther S. Yntema