Monday, August 8, 2016
Two mysteries about George Apley
Marquand seems to be rushing a bit to tie the strands of his narrative together and we can see it coming - apley's college girlfriend, the Irish-american beauty his family would not let him marry - turns up late in his life when apley is picked up as a john in a seedy hotel and threatens to sue the police for running a scam - she tells him the cop he's going after is a relative and to please lay off, which leads to a meeting at which apley finds he really likes these Irish cops and he becomes a hero to the south Boston Hibernians - well I just don't believe the relatively easy resolution to this problem and I think Marquand squandered the chance to really make something of apley's late-life reunion w the love from his past. That's too bad. - flaw in this otherwise stellar novel. As apley really ages he goes w family for one final visit to Europe Rome in this instance and, as in his earlier visit, he likes Boston better than anything he sees in his travels. He is still spending a lot of time w Clara Goodrich - and as a result there are still some mysteries at the end of the pseudo-biography: has he been carrying on a life long romance or affair w her or are they simply just friends? Similarly was he set up while seeking a liaison w a prostitute or was he truly and naively "investigating" police corruption ? Perhaps we can take him at his word on that point but he is strangely reticent - hard,y a word in any of his many letters- on the issue of Clara Goodrich.