The Town in Bloom Author:Dodie Smith "... Dodie Smith ... is to charm what Chanel is to perfume." The New' York Times Book Review — London's theatre world of the 1920's provides a glittering backdrop for Mouse, an eighteen-year-old Lancanshire girl intent on a stage career. She tells the story herself with the utmost frankness and with an authenticity which derives from Dodie Smith'... more »s own wide experience as both actress and playwright.
Mouse never felt that her nickname fully suited her; tiny she might be, but timid never. Within a day of her arrival in town she had bluffed her way into an audition at a famous theatre, infuriated its forceful young stage director, amused its kind if quite amoral actor-manager, Rex Crossway, and finally landed not a part but a toehold as a junior secretary. From then on she was involved in the engrossing affairs of the Cross-way Theater.
She was also involved with her friends at the club where she lived - Molly, a baby-faced six-footer, and elegant, ambitious Lilian who was fated to clash disastrously with Mouse, though even then they could find something to laugh at together. And later there was Zelle, rich, generous, enigmatic, and responsible for an outing to a Suffolk village pageant which proved a turning point for them all.
Life was always surprising the fearless Mouse. When she unexpectedly got a chance to act she made an unforgettable impression, but not the one she intended. And nothing prepared her for the assault of first love, highly unsuitable but welcomed by her in a way which was to have far-reaching consequences. Only when she looks back much later, after a reunion luncheon, does she realize the full effect of that shared summer on her friends and herself.
Often funny, sometimes poignant - and occasionally both at once -” THE TOWN IN BLOOM shows to the full Dodie Smith's talent as a storyteller and creator of lifelike people. The unusual little heroine's freshness of outlook recalls that of Cassandra in I CAPTURE THE CASTLE, but Mouse is a more fully developed character with a deeper knowledge of life.« less