God on the Rocks

God on the Rocks
by Jane Gardham
1978/  195 pages
rating 8

Margaret is an 8-year old girl living in a coastal resort community with her mother,  a very nice but apparently conflicted woman, and her father, a very stern preacher.  Also in the household is Lydia, a maid and nanny of sorts.  Mrs. Marsh has just had a second child so Lydia is necessary.  Most of the action takes place in the 1920s.

Every Wednesday Lydia takes Margaret on an outing.  One day they decide to go to the beach front where Lydia seems to find the males quite interesting while Margaret makes herself scarce in the clown show or climbing trees.   But when her mother takes her they go to tea at the home of some very interesting and smart people.  Margaret is intrigued. But since Lydia is home alone with Dad, well …

This is so brief as to do the book a grave injustice.  Margaret is precocious,  the reason Mrs. Marsh knows the interesting people is a secret of the past and their house seems to be full of really strange people – “mentals.”   I think you just have to read this charming and hilarious book (I laughed until I hurt more than once).   It’s serious as sin – but almost as much fun, too.

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