Honor Arundel Zena Sutherland - Essay

Zena Sutherland

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Although attention moves, with each chapter [of The Two Sisters], from one of the Cafferty sisters to another, the whole is remarkably smooth and the author achieves (perhaps in part by this device) both a feeling of the family as a unit and a sense that Maura and Caroline are distinct and separate people, each the center of her own world…. The changes that take place are realistic: Maura, with marriage and maturity, understands her parents better and Caroline, a pre-adolescent, begins to feel the independence and perception that mark the beginning of maturity. A sensible and sensitive story of an Edinburgh family.

Zena Sutherland, "New Titles for Children and Young People: 'The Two Sisters'," in Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (© 1969 by the University of Chicago; all rights reserved), Vol. 22, No. 11, July-August, 1969, p. 169.

Honor Arundel is well known for her understanding of the modern teenager's problems. [The Longest Weekend] is her most ambitious so far for it handles frankly the predicament of a girl of only seventeen who has an illegitimate baby by someone she loves. Her parents accept the situation and try to cope with it for her, so much so that the young mother has little responsibility for the child. (p. 325)

When the book begins the child is three years old and yet her father has never seen her and Eileen has little idea of how to manage her young daughter. The 'long weekend' of the title, alone with Gay, is the young mother's bid for independence and a normal relationship with her child. Incidentally the account of the struggle...

(The entire section is 694 words.)