I began to talk then of Jerry. I just felt that I’d got to say something. That Mother must listen. That she didn’t understand. I told her how Jerry loved lights and music and dancing, and crowds bowing down and worshiping him all the time. And she said yes, she remembered; that he’d been that way when I married him. . . . .
She went right on then quickly, before I could say anything. She said that, of course, I understood that I was still Mary and Marie, even if Jerry did call me Mollie; and that if Marie had married a man that wasn’t always congenial with Mary, she was very sure Mary had enough stamina and good sense to make the best of it; and she was very sure, also, that if Mary would only make a little effort to be once in a while the Marie he had married, things might be a lot easier–for Mary. . . . .
Of course, I laughed at that. I had to. And Mother laughed, too. But we understood. We both understood. I had never thought of it before, but I had been Marie when I married Jerry. I loved lights and music and dancing and gay crowds just exactly as well as he did. And it wasn’t his fault that I suddenly turned into Mary when the baby came, and wanted him to stay at home before the fire every evening with his dressing-gown and slippers. No wonder he was surprised. He hadn’t married Mary–he never knew Mary at all. But, do you know? I’d never thought of that before–until Mother said what she did. Why, probably Jerry was just as much disappointed to find his Marie turned into a Mary.
A sweet book about growing up and the importance of these maturing years. The parents were divided, father wanted to call the daughter Mary, mother wanted to call her Marie. Thus begins the tale of a young woman torn constantly between her two natures–sweet, sensible Mary and passionate, lively Marie. It is a story about feeling torn: between mother and father, one career or another, security or adventure. Porter takes the tumultuous years facing the young adult and lays them out on paper. It is a sweet, touching, beautiful work that is particularly good for teens-20s.