Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep - 1943 Author:Ludwig Bemelmans The hero of Ludwig Bemelmans' first novel is one Leonidas Erosa, a South American general heavy with years and money, residing in Biarritz with his retinue. This includes a paragon of a cook (no Bemelmans book would be complete without fine food); an Indian to care for his dogs; a fabulous secretary; a mistress; and the faithful English governes... more »s, Miss Graves, who carries her coffin with her when they travel. This sportive party, at the approach of the war, sets out for America. Their adventures in Casablanca, in New York, and finally on the old hacienda in Ecuador, are a saga of life, love, death and birth. On it appear lovely ladies and graceful men, sad Indians and knowing servants, and incidental celebrities who might be straight from today's most fashionable gossip columns.
Bemelmans himself must tell -- to each reader in his own way -- the meaning of this tale. Its setting is the nostalgic world of night clubs and champagne and diamond clusters. Bemelmans has loved that world and made much of its naive splendors, even when he suspected that it was falling into green decay. This is his gay and irreverent novel about it. Let the reader beware who expects a conventional novel. It's a book that tells a story about some people; but beyond that it's a great many other things, all of them entertaining. Call it a small lamp hung out in the darkness of our time, to cheer us on the way.« less