Lenora Mattingly Weber Pilar Schmidt - Essay

Pilar Schmidt

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Angel in Heavy Shoes] is above the level of the ordinary because it attempts to treat relations among people from various socio-economic levels of society. In spite of some weaknesses, Angel in Heavy Shoes generally warrants consideration because it deals with the struggles of a middle-class teen-ager who tries to overcome distaste for a family of a lower socio-economic class and because it touches on the seamier side of life: alcoholism, juvenile delinquency, and crime. Even though the background details of the unfortunate Flood family are revealed rather awkwardly through Rita and Lennie Flood's mouths, the gradual change that occurs in Katie Rose Belford's attitude towards the Floods is well done and believable.

One of the major drawbacks of this novel is its structure. Dealing with one day or even one afternoon at a time, the author treats each one of the main characters and their adventures in turn before moving on to the next period of time. I found this technique monotonous, but students with reading problems might find it an asset rather than a liability. (pp. 779-80)

Pilar Schmidt, in English Journal (copyright © 1969 by the National Council of Teachers of English), May, 1969.

[Separation] from the Belford manse and menage impoverishes the proceedings and throws all the weight on [the] lightweight plot [of How Long is Always?]. Series-ly speaking, it's expendable. (p. 113)

Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1970 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), February 1, 1970.