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The Squirrel-Cage

Dorothy Canfield Fisher

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I’m so weak. I have to train myself to see that they are not really getting up so fast, but only scrambling fast over slipping, sliding stones; and then I have to try to find some firm ground where I can make a path of my own, up which I can plod in my own way.”

The tone of the young people, as they talked with their innocent grandiloquence of these high matters, might have been taken for that of a couple deep in some intimate discussion, so honestly serious and moved was it. There was a silence now, also like the pause in a profoundly personal talk, in which they looked long into each other’s eyes.

74The clock struck five. Lydia sprang to her feet. “Oh, I must hurry on! I told Marietta to telephone home that I’d be there at six.”

She still preserved her charming unconsciousness of the unconventionality of her situation. A European girl, brought up in the strictest ignorance of the world, would still have had . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Dorothy Canfield has a unique gift for getting into people’s minds and hearts and allowing the reader to understand their characters and values. She writes within the current situations of a person’s life, but allows the reader to recognize how the choices made by the characters of her books are bas

This is a wonderful book. The writing is deeply thoughtful, reflecting the skills of a topnotch storyteller and literary master.

Valuable ideas at work; nuanced, articulate, knowing psychological observations + weavings. But in all (I feel sheepish saying this about any thoughtful, deep person's labor of love) too slow/long and rambling.

"Competence--I loathe the word! It's used now to cover all imaginable sins, as folks used to excuse all manner of rascality in a good swordsman."

This wasn't my first time through this book but I think I found it just as thought provoking as the first time. I don't know how to sum it up in a way that

Okay, Dorothy Canfield, tell me how you really feel about materialism. Her heart is in the right place, but this book is so turgid and overwrought that I don't know when I've last been so glad to get to the last page of a novel.

In many ways, this book is like an American A Room with a View. The her