Mary Stolz Mary K. Eakin - Essay

Mary K. Eakin

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Who Wants Music on Monday? is a] quite wonderful book. The individual characters are drawn with sharp perception; relationships between characters are described with the rarely found combination of deep and intelligent insight and that seemingly easy flow of prose that marks the craftsman. Cassie is a thorny, gawky fourteen; blazing with integrity, she resents the easy charm of her older sister, Lotta. Lotta is a case-history belle, a vain and pretty creature who blithely uses people. Their brother and his Negro roommate are concerned about their goals: about marriage, about race relations. Perhaps the most penetrating analysis is seen in the mother of the family, a woman of limited intellect, bewildered by her children, bored by her life, aimlessly unhappy. The changes in all their lives are realistic: Lotta falls in love with a man who finds her boring and rejects her; Cassie finds security in the friendship of the same man; Vincent and his roommate, often disturbed by the world in which they live, still have the optimism of youth and the sustenance of being in love. Mother doesn't change. (p. 319)

Mary K. Eakin, in her Good Books for Children (reprinted by permission of The University of Chicago Press; © 1959, 1962, and 1966 by The University of Chicago), third edition, University of Chicago Press, 1966.