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The Flirt

Booth Tarkington

Book Overview: 

Laura and Cora Madison and their younger brother Hedrick live with their parents in a Midwestern American town that is fairly bursting with Cora’s discarded and would-be beaus. Her flirtatiousness annoys the tempestuous Hedrick but not the reserved Laura. The return to town of a handsome, charming former resident and an encounter with a deranged young person set in motion a roller-coaster of events that interweave and play out to an exciting, emotional climax.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . round, nor did he pause in his slow walk; neither was she clairvoyant; none the less, she knew that he turned his head and looked back at her.

The path led away from the drives and more public walks of the park, to a low hill, thoughtfully untouched by the gardener and left to the shadowy thickets and good-smelling underbrush of its rich native woodland. And here, by a brown bench, waited a tall gentleman in white.

They touched hands and sat without speaking. For several moments they continued the silence, then turned slowly and looked at each other; then looked slowly and gravely away, as if to an audience in front of them. They knew how to do it; but probably a critic in the first row would have concluded that Cora felt it even more than Valentine Corliss enjoyed it.

"I suppose this is very clandestine," she said, after a deep breath. "I don't think I care, though."

"I hope you do. . . Read More