Love and Duty

Judith Henry Wall, Author Viking Books $19.95 (512p) ISBN 978-0-670-82316-1
On a hot Texas day in 1930, Stella and Kate Behrman and their cousin Effie dream of traveling far from the family farmland. It seems unlikely that the three friends will be allowed to escape their limiting milieu, yet one by one the girls attend the University of Texas. Dour Frederick Behrman is certain it's a waste to send his athletic, competitive daughter Kate to college, sure she'll never land a husband there, as beautiful Effie does. Worse, his prettier daughter Stella seems content to allow academics to sweep her off her feet. But when an unrequited love affair breaks her heart, Stella marries an ambitious man who gives her no opportunity to pursue her own desires. Effie, who becomes a shrewd businesswoman while World War II rages, is glad to go back to homemaking when her doting husband returns from the conflict. Although marriage dampens Kate's spirit, motherhood fills her with contentment. While Effie and Kate adapt to the needs of their husbands and families, Stella remains painfully trapped between love and duty in ways she never expected. This is a warm and winning novel that steers clear of a strident message and taps into genuine feelings. The strong bond between the women is as realistic as the compromises each must reach to achieve a balance in life. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; BOMC selection. (October)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
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