Finished Clair de Lune by Jetta Carleton. It’s the story of Allen Liles, a young woman who takes a job as instructor at a junior college in Missouri, just before the U.S. enters World War II. Allen is the youngest member of the faculty, a lighthearted woman with dreams of being a writer in New York. Life in the small Missouri town is dull until she is befriended by two young men from her English literature seminar. The three a become chums and engage in many harmless larks, but one night, in a dense fog, her relationship with one of the young men changes. Nothing goes unnoticed in a small town. Allen, as a faculty member, soon finds her teaching position in jeopardy.
This was a lovely and funny book of lost innocence on the eve of an even greater loss. Carleton’s book The Moonflower Vine was a bestseller in 1963, and until now her only published novel. The manuscript for Clair de Lune was thought to have been blown away during a tornado, but instead it was safe in the hands of a good friend. I look forward to reading her other book with great anticipation.