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Georgy Girl

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  • Posted June 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    "'I want you to be my mistress,' said James."

    GEORGY GIRL is 27-year old Miss Georgina Parkin. The time is mid-century London , the age of "the Second Elizabeth." Georgina's parents have worked for nearly three decades for rich, affable James Leamington, age 49, father as valet, butler and gardener, mother as cook and cleaner. Leamington had hired father Ted Parkin when the latter was an out-of-work car mechanic. Parkin hero worships James and James treats Ted as a personal friend. Georgina was christened with one of James's secondary names. To her parents Ted and Doris, Georgina is usually George. Georgina calls Leamington Uncle James and he calls her Georgy-porgy. James has doted on George forever and has more or less raised her as the daughter he never had, including a diastrous year in a Paris finishing school. *****

    Why disastrous? Because for many years George has regarded herself as ugly, misshapen, slow-witted and unlovable. Throughout her teens she rebelled and became a sloppy dresser who took no care of her hair. A doting James Leamington had, however, let her redecorate a large second floor room of his London flat as a dance studio where George gives lessons three times a week to young children. But she has moved out from her parents' lodgings in James's house and rooms with small but beautiful Meredith, a violinist with a good orchestra. Meredith is an amoral nymphomaniac with four abortions already notched up. More or less from boredom and curious about marriage as an institution Meredith agrees to marry current boy friend Jos Jones. Jos moves in with Meredith. George sleeps on the couch. George is grateful to beauteous Meredith for being her friend -- although one who treats her landlady as a slave. Meanwhile Jos and George fall in love, and Meredith gives birth to Sara. *****

    But not before, out of nowhere so far as George is concerned, James Leamington has made George a written offer to become his mistress. For three months Jos and George make endless love while Meredith spends a fortnight in a London hospital with Sara whom she and Jos promptly put up for adoption. Surprisingly, Meredith agrees to divorce Jos. To keep George Jos agrees to revoke application to place baby Sara up for adoption. But Georgie shifts all her new found capacity for love from Jos to the baby and eventually Jos walks away. *****

    Meanwhile Leamington's ever ailing wife suddenly dies and James announces to his valet Ted his intention to remarry. When she learns of James's new plans, Georgie is shocked. How will all this turn out? *****

    GEORGY GIRL is short and moves rapidly. At the same time all major characters engage in character analysis and self-justification for their almost uniformly selfish behaviors. We see Georgy from the point of view of her parents, her proposed paramour, her boy friend, her roommate Meredith and of religiously inclined Peg, upstairs neighbor in her apartment building. To her young dance students Georgie is madly fascinating. To her parents George is a disgrace. But amiable James Leamington sees a heart of gold in his onetime honorary "niece." And it does him no harm in Georgie's eyes that James loves children, especially young Sara. I cannot say that GEORGIE GIRL is funny. But the characters have all three dimensions about them. They grow, not always in the right direction. And they are sometimes shrewd, albeit self-centered analysts of human behavior, including their own. -OOO-

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