A More Innocent Time by Eugenie Hill
Published by Taplinger Publishing Company, new york. 1979, 185 pages.
Book review (Kirkus review)
Weak tea and sympathy: a gummy trifle about the passion of an English schoolboy -- from prep to Oxford -- for his former teacher. They meet at St. Fenrin's School, where infatuated Godolphin (Goff) is in the Fifth form, and Agnes (married to staid Harold) is the teacher. And after Agnes leaves St. Fenrin's, Goff finds many methods of beating a path to her door, even flunking Latin to gain access to Agnes' cottage as a tutoree. Then, when Goff is 15, he at last overpowers Agnes' good sense (she doesn't have too much), and they're promptly in the sack. (Agnes is now separated from Harold and pursuing a wildly sucessful career authoring children's books.) But Agnes isn't fully loving enough for despairing Golf, and he and a cynical friend wreak havoc -- causing the pregnancy, abortion, and near-suicide of a friend's daughter. Finally Agnes docs return Golf's love (he's now 18), there's an idyll on a Spanish seacoast, but then Agnes dies on the operating table (a hemorrhage from an old injury), leaving Goff a hollow shell Cloying soap bubbles, then, overblown and undernourished and gooey with the simperings of drippy Agnes: ""When you're middle-aged . . . how your loins will stir at the beautiful, beautiful flowers of girls!"" Yuk.