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Gentle Julia

Booth Tarkington

Book Overview: 

Penrod for girls in the form of Florence, the bratty younger cousin of luminous Julia Atwater, enlivens this romantic comedy set in Tarkington's Indiana of the early 20th Century.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .; and this shows as nothing else could the meekness[Pg 72] and tact of the Dills; for, excluding bad cooks and the dangerously insane, the persons most disturbing to the serenity of households are young lovers. But the world has had to accommodate itself to them because young lovers cannot possibly accommodate themselves to the world. For the young lover there is no general life of the species; for him the universe is a delicate blush under a single bonnet. He has but an irritated perception of every vital thing in nature except the vital thing under this bonnet; all else is trivial intrusion. But whatever does concern the centrifugal bonnet, whatever concerns it in the remotest—ah, then he springs to life! So Noble Dill sat through a Sunday dinner at home, seemingly drugged to a torpor, while the family talk went on about him; but when his father, in the course of some remarks upon politics, happened to mention the name of the county-treasurer, Charles J. Patt. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Knowing full well that Booth Tarkington is about as current as a butter churn, I will defend my choice to review his Gentle Julia by pointing out that he was a two-time Pulitzer winner (think Faulkner or Updike) and that this particular book has been republished in literally dozens of editions. Amo

The Gentle Julia of the title may be the object around which the plot of this novel revolves, but she doesn't come across as being the main character at all. That honor goes to her 13-year-old niece, Florence. Consequently, this feels rather like something resembling this author's Penrod stories. It

Very easy reading apart from the need to adopt an excruciating accent to understand the cook, mildly amusing, and perceptive about pre-adolescent attitudes. Not something to ever read again or even to remember, really.

It had some sweet/charming characters, but at times the dialogue seemed a bit aimless and difficult to follow, leading the whole thing to be a bit "flat." There were a few mildly humorous situations, and the troubles between Florence and Herbert were relatable. I held out hope for a satisfying endin

I’ve never hated a 13 year old character as much as I hated Florence, and her aunt “Not gentle Julia” is even worse. In fact, I didn’t like any character in this book, except Katie Silver, she’s the best written character in this book. But I liked Tarkington’s sense of humor, whether it’s about chil

It was all right. It didn't end the way I thought it would, and I thought the title was misleading. But nonetheless, I love books from this period, and I love Booth Tarkington.

James Thurber, I read, advised his daughter to read this book. I don't know how old she was then. Liking Thurber and Tarkington, I tracked it down. The library's edition was published in 1920 or so, still going strong. Tarkington was a talented writer, immensely popular in his heyday but now largely

I don't read a lot of American humour, but this book was hilarious. Florence behaves a little young for a 13-year-old, but she's an unforgettable character - an imaginative blunderbuss of a little girl who takes a sudden shine to her pretty Aunt Julia's most hapless, helpless suitor (named, of you c

Excluding bad cooks and the dangerously insane, the persons most disturbing to the serenity of households are young lovers.

Julia Atwater is the belle of her town, with dozens of smitten suitors haunting her front porch and showering her with candy, pet animals and poems of their own manufacture.

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