Rainbow After Rain (1953 - #25) directly follows Don't Cry, Little Girl, in which Tippy Parrish's beau Ken Prescott is killed in action in Korea. Tippy spends the second half of the book trying to deal with her grief, her family's sympathy, and the still-devoted Peter Jordon, who has been in love with Tippy for years.
As Tippy bravely say Ken off to Korea on the morning plan, she gave some serious thought to the months that lay ahead. She would learn how to knit, to sew, and to cook, against the day when they would be reunited once again. She would write him regularly, and look forward to receiving his precious letters.
Busy with school--with comforting Peter Jordon and the weekly hops at West Point--time did pass. But one day, the world almost came to an end for Tippy, and all her hopes were shattered . . . This is one of Mrs. Lambert's most unusually charming and appealing stories. (from the inside flap)
Let me refer you to the last line of the inside flap blurb: "one of Mrs. Lambert's most unusually charming and appealing stories." Spoiler: the blurb writer has a very strange idea of what connotes charming. Of course, the books are all charming and appealing, but this novel has some incredibly serious emotional heft to it.
But most painful of all to Tippy is that her dear Peter Jordon keeps getting lost behind a smoke screen of memories raised by handsome Lieutenant Ken Prescott whom she left behind in Germany.
Tippy is frankly bewildered. Then out of a clear sky, war in Korea looms, and the entire Parrish clan is forced into making some pretty important decisions. How does Tippy handle the situation? In her very special "Tippy" way--and what could be more fascinating! (from the inside flap)
We open with the return of the Parrishes to New York, with the whole family greeting them with great excitement and love. Penny reflects on Tippy:
That she was being selfish never entered her pretty head. That Josh missed the gay, enthusiastic, ambitious young actress he had married five years earlier just never occurred to Penny until it was almost too late.
What roughly awakened her to danger, what swept the play to success makes such fascinating reading that Janet Lambert's older group of readers will find THE RELUCTANT HEART especially interesting. (from the inside flap)
The Reluctant Heart opens with Penny gardening at her home in the country. Now 26 and the mother of two, she is enjoying life at home while Josh toils away in the big city in the theater. Trudy, though, is not approving of "be-kind-to-Penny day." While Mrs. and Colonel Parrish are away in Germany, it falls to Trudy to tell Penny all about herself.
Meanwhile Gwenn and Alice went to a house party at Bill Hanley's where Alice was to have been the guest of honor. Gwenn, however, having just fallen out with her own fiancé, decided to get even with him by making herself the belle of the house party.
After that what happened? Was Alice, sweet, reliable Alice, able to extricate her thoughtless sister from a wretched situation that jeopardized the happiness of two families? And presently just how did Bobby Parrish feel when he found Alice admitting that Jon Drayton (remember Christy Drayton's brother?) was an awfully nice chap? And what finally became of the lad to whom Gwenn had been engaged? Truly--all was confusion--with Cupid hanging his head in discouragement.
All ends well though, as it always does in Janet Lambert's inimitable stories for girls, with all the characters settling finally into their perfect if unpredictable positions in the intricate pattern woven for them. (from the inside flap)
Confusion by Cupid opens with Peter Jordon in a drugstore, stewing about an argument he had with his sister Gwenn, where she tries to get him to go out with her friend, despite his continuing devotion to Tippy Parrish. He meets Maxsie in the drugstore and:
The world is still slightly too much with me, so I am spending my August re-reading and writing about the books of Janet Lambert. So far, I've made my way through the first ten or so in the locket series, which comprises the army-life adventures of the Parrish and Jordon families (as well as a little Candy Kane thrown in).
The first part of this reading project took me through the adventures of Penny Parrish as she grows up, finds her career, marries producer/playwright Josh MacDonald and starts a family. We also meet Carrol, Penny's rich and beautiful friend who marries Penny's brother David and starts a family of her own. We also get introduced to the Jordons, and Jenifer, the eldest, who takes care of the whole large and complicated family.
For a long time Tippy has been smarting under the failure of Trudy, the beloved colored cook, to call her "Miss Tippy." Trudy is all-wise, all-knowing. When Tippy ceases to be a headstrong, teasing, little flitterfly, says Trudy, and takes on a bit of sorely lacking dignity, she will be called "Miss Tippy," but not until then.
|The first ten Janet Lamberts, or so.|
(from the author's collection, hee)
Although Janet Lambert has written a ton of books (Stories about teenagers...written specially for teenagers), her books about the Parrish, Jordon and the Kane families are the books I've loved since I was a child. Set (and written) during World War II and after, they encompass the world of the U.S. Army as well as the world of American Theater. What could be better?
After working hard all summer in a stock company, Penny finds herself in the cast of the show, The Robin's Nest, due to open on Broadway. There she meets Josh Macdonald, the blunt, weary-looking stage manager, who takes a keen interest in her success as an actress--although he is surprisingly indifferent to her as an attractive young girl!
The result is that, in spite of a serious quarrel which almost spoils everything, Mister Smith wins an important race at Santa Anita to the boundless joy of the old man and Candy and Barton. The quarrel is made up and the ending is on a high and happy note.
With Just Jenifer, Janet Lambert introduces the Jordon family to her readers. As the book opens, sixteen-year-old Jenifer Jordon is taking care of her many brothers and sisters in Orlando. Her father General Jordon is off in Italy fighting in the war. Things get increasingly complicated when their housekeeper has to leave for a family emergency, and Jenifer is left to care for the family alone.
All of these problems confronted Bayley because her mother had to leave her family one summer to take care of an ailing relative. Bayley rather lightly undertook to fill her place but almost immediately realized she was over her head. After a pretty grim start, however, she began to learn how to manage a house, serve an acceptable meal, and get her social life oriented toward dating rather than just being a good scout.
An excellent story for older girls, told with understanding and humor, about one of the most important facets of growing up. (from the inside flap)
The Jordons' life at Gladstone Gates has settled into a happy routine. Neal, Susan's twin, and young Vance are working for the summer on the Parrishs' estate. Although General Jordon, now a business executive rather than an Army officer, is disturbed by his erratic step-daughter Gwenn's threat to sue him for mismanagement of her inheritance, he is trying to keep the three younger children from knowing of the unpleasant development. With everyone apparently happy, Susan is enjoying a mild flirtation with her other half-sister Alice's young brother-in-law, Keith Drayton. Keith proves a source of constant irritation to Bobby Parrish, whose career as an Army Lieutenant has done little to dampen his light-hearted exuberance. As far as he is concerned, Susan is his property, and his attitude is causing Susan some uneasiness. All of the Jordons miss the youngest daughter, Bitsy, who for five years has been living in England with her oldest sister, Jennifer and her husband, Cyril, Lord Carlington.
When suddenly Bitsy returns to America, a cold, self-centered thirteen-year-old; and when Gwenn explodes on the family unexpectedly and collapses into a serious illness, the Jordons find that both problems can be solved with gentle understanding and love. Bobby Parrish surprises everyone by his own surprising contribution and even Bitsy comes to realize that love is a gentle giving, rather than an insistent demand.
Readers who are meeting the Jordons for the first time will be enchanted with this delightful family. Those to whom the Jordons are old friends, will be gratified that Susan's summer ends happily, after all! (from the inside flap)
She's tall for her twelve years, and heavily built. From her shoulders to her knees she is entirely shapeless, and below her skirt, which is too short for her, her legs are hard and covered with scratches. She wears a sloppy sweater, two charm bracelets of a brassy color, and a locket and chain that fastens so tightly around her neck it seems it might throttle her. In the locket is a rather dim snapshot of a kitten and a clear picture of Tyrone Power, clipped from a movie magazine. She's outgrown her devotion to Tyrone Power, but she still gets a lump in her throat when she remembers the kitten, whose name was Bilgy. She has also outgrown toys at Christmas, but there's something empty about Christmas Day in spite of the jade green lounging pajamas and the silk stockings. She's the girl you loved in the stage and screen plays based on this book, and she personifies all the naive realities and sophisticated fantasies of the in-between years. (from the back cover)
Editorial Comment: Could this be a LESS enticing description? Also, I love the note on the back of the Pocket edition: Share this book with someone in uniform. I'm sure they'll love it!