Books: Pain & Prejudice

LACE CURTAIN (375 pp.)—Ellin Berlin —Doubleday ($3).

Veronica Reardon was only a little girl when she heard one of her parents' snooty guests say to another: "Oh well, they're not so bad." And the reply: "Well, no, not for R.C.s." When her aunt explained that R.C.s meant Roman Catholics and not Red Cross, Veronica didn't get it; she had always "thought it best to be a Catholic." As she grew up, she discovered that a great house on Long Island and another on Fifth Avenue couldn't protect her from social wounds inflicted by snobbish non-Catholics. She picked up other facts of life:...

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