Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I'm so glad you married me

Until I saw the obituary for Lois Wyse last week, I'd forgotten I had this title on my bookshelf at the summer cottage. She was 80 years old and had written over 65 books. I think I've owned 2 or 3 of her poetry books, and this one I had given my husband on his 34th birthday. It was published in 1971 by American Greetings. At the time she wrote this she was still married to Marc Wyse, with whom she'd formed Wyse Advertising. They divorced in the late 70s and in the 80s she married Lee Guber. Maybe it was this line: "I have figured out at last that/ Second isn't first, and first is all that matters." Needless to say, this book doesn't appear on the internet, except in one used book site, so I can't post a photo unless I take it. Meanwhile, I'll post this.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Moonflower Vine

is residing on my bookshelf at our lake house. Jetta Carleton (d. 1999) must have been a one book wonder (Simon & Schuster, 1962). This novel may be the best you'll ever read with a midwest setting (Missouri). I read it in the early 80s when it was reissued in paperback, after its best seller status in 1962. My copy is a hardcover Book Club edition with a nice cover that I picked up at a booksale for $1.00. The paperback copy I started with disappeared on one of its many loans to friends.

"Jetta Carleton's autobiographical novel captures the mood and times of midwestern rural life and brings it to life. From the idyllic, heartwarming beginnings springs dark and hidden truths; truths only the reader will see and know. The gentle revelations of the secrets, fears and heartaches that drive these wonderful and endearing characters is storytelling at its best. THE MOONFLOWER VINE received the International Book Award in 1963 and became a Readers Digest Condensed Book and Literary Guild selection. Author Jetta Carleton (1913-1999) only published one novel, putting her in a club with other unique woman writers like Harper Lee and Margaret Mitchell. You might be wondering why anyone would bother to review an out of print book but it is for that reason it was chosen. Don't let the opportunity to read an endangered book slip away." from a review by Barbara Fielding.

Later in life, Jetta Carleton and her husband developed a private press, The Lightning Tree.