Feb. 17, 1942
Now that I have at last finished, The Sound of Wings, I can really appreciate your sending it. I enjoyed its very human events tremendously and could hardly put it down once I turned over the first page (first and not always the last hurdle), but last week-end, for instance, I got no further than the first paragraphbecause I was tired by night and wished to get out by day!
Tom Clay is so real in spite of being so rare. Thats the most amazing thing about the book. And what a white man he is! One reason I never wanted to go into business was because his kind are there so scarce. For a good while I hoped, as he did, that Carol would come back, but before long I was terribly afraid, just as Mr. Hitchcock meant me to be, lest the real heroine never be truly identified to the lovable, but blind hero. As a heroine Craykie leaves little to be desired, being in her own way quite as brave as Thomas. Not only the principals, but the rather large number of other characters all have exceptionally vivid personalities without ever being or at least seeming overdone.
When I really enjoy a book, I dont notice many of its faults, but rather step right in among the characters and wander about with them. That Friday night with Margies crisis, Jeans elopement and Carols new show was a bit hard to swallow, but it was well described. Margies and especially Dicks behavior was perhaps a bit exaggerated, but all things considered not too impossible. Oh here and there were other unlikely things, but after all life is full of unlikely things, and the whole picture of events during that amazing decade, which saw such economic extremes, is marvelously clear.
Well perhaps my naive remarks should come to an end, but dont you think T.C. comes pretty close to a modern Abraham Lincoln? Ill be interested to hear from you about all this, especially as you have countless other books likewise recently read with which to compare the one in question, whereas I not having read much of anything in recent weeks have probably been over zealous in my enthusiasm.
I have lent the book to a friend, hoping you dont mind, but will send it soon. My room-mate enjoyed it too, incidentally, but thinks T.C. was unnaturally free with his money, which is true, though his luck with investments perhaps even more surprisingbut thats all right.
Many happy returns of your birthday and love to all.