Books: Just People

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THE STORY OF JULIAN—Susan Ertz— Appleton ($2.50).* If Susan Ertz were not more interested in people than in the situations they get themselves into, she might have adorned this tale with several morals. As it is, she leaves you to draw your own conclusions.

Julian, sensitive adolescent and only son, is fond of both his parents and hates to see them quarrel. His mother has abandoned love for religion; his father is in love with young Novelist Pauline but cannot get a divorce to marry her. Julian himself is enamored of Hildegarde, young thing of his own age; they agonize together over a world that was not molded very near to their hearts' desire. For a while it looks as though everything would go badly for everybody. Pauline tries to break off her affair with Julian's father when she has to take her own invalid parent to Switzerland. Prying grown-ups catch Julian and Hildegarde taking a perfectly innocent sun bath after a swim. Hilclegarde's mother whisks her abroad; Julian in sick despair drives his rickety old motorbike over a cliff, tries to make it look like an accident. That clears the air; everything goes better. Julian is not killed; Hildegarde is rushed back to his hospital bedside; Pauline writes Julian's father that she cannot live without him.

* Published Aug. 2