From Publishers Weekly
Before Santmyer began her monumental ". . . And Ladies of the Club," she had produced this semi-autobiographical novel, which was published in 1925 while she was studying at Oxford. Now reissued, unrevised, it seems very old-fashioned indeed. In Derrick Thornton, her alter ego, Santmeyer creates a sometimes insufferably high- and singleminded young woman, who determines early on that she will be a great writer. Derrick's childhood and her friendships in the fictional town of Tecumseh, Ohio; her coterie of friends when she goes East to college; her few years as a career woman in New York; the death of her fiance in WW I; and her decision, when her mother is dying, to renounce her ambitions and return home to take care of her younger siblings, are the main events in a narrative that generally fails to elicit the reader's emotional involvement. In her leisurely, lyrical descriptions of small town life and the Ohio countryside, the author has a sure touch that charms.