Mary Stolz Ellen Lewis Buell - Essay

Ellen Lewis Buell

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Mrs. Stolz' "To Tell Your Love" introduced a talented new writer. Like that novel, "The Organdy Cupcakes" is witty, perceptive and mature. It hasn't quite the poignancy of that story of first love, but it has the same freshness of characterization and writing.

Although it is a story of three student nurses in a suburban hospital it is far removed from the stereotyped career novel…. The girls seem real, not made. So too, do the other characters—Nelle's bat-brained, charming mother; the patients, the doctors. It is this feeling for people which gives the story its vitality and richness. (p. 24)

Ellen Lewis Buell, in The New York Times Book Review (© 1951 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), April 8, 1951.

The careers, home life and romances of three girls … at nursing school are woven deftly into ["The Organdy Cupcakes"]. It is by far the best "career book" of the spring; also it is much more mature in the approach of the older teen age girl audience than was "To Tell Your Love."…

The hospital background is very well done: the atmosphere, the different sorts of work, the relations of nurses, interns, doctors and the rest of the staff are very realistic, honest and interesting. In Gretchen Bemis we meet an unusual character, one we are at first uncertain about, whose love affair will be very satisfying to young readers. Rosemary's troubles with her stepmother, Nelle finding out how to keep a beau, add interesting subplots.

This is "older" than most "junior novels," and therefore most welcome for high school libraries and youth rooms. What separates it, in style and content, from a "regular" novel is a point we shall not press here. Girls over fourteen will be keen on it, whatever their dreamed-of careers. (p. 24)

The New York Times Book Review (© 1951 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), May 13, 1951.