A Library of America eBook Classic
Jean Stafford, Kathryn Davis
Twenty-nine-year-old Jean Stafford made a bold entrance onto the American literary scene in 1944 when her first novel Boston Adventure became a surprise best seller, its style inviting comparisons to James and Proust. Sonia Marburg, the protagonist of Boston Adventure, grows up in the North Shore village of Chichester, the daughter of an angry marriage between immigrant parents who remain outsiders in America. Seeking to escape the material and spiritual impoverishment of her childhood, Sonia looks across the bay at the State House dome in Boston for the promise of a richer life. Her dreams seem to find fulfillment when she finds a position assecretary-companion to Miss Lucy Pride, a summer guest at the hotel where Sonia cleans rooms, and moves into her Beacon Hill home. Boston Adventureis a perceptive satire of upper-class Boston society and a quicksilver portrait of a young woman trying to navigate a singular transit between very different worlds.