Together and Apart
Joan McGrath is a Toronto Board of Education library consultant.
Margaret Kennedy’s eighth novel, Together and Apart, was first published in 1936, and its reissue is a cause for rejoicing. This is the story of a spoiled and restless woman who decides, for what seem insignificant and ill-considered reasons, to dismantle her apparently successful marriage. As she toys, half-idly, with this still ephemeral plan, almost ready to abandon the idea and forget the grievances of the past, her officious mother-in-law bustles into the picture. The results of her interference are tragic, and what has been a family disagreement becomes a sordid public battle. When the smoke finally clears, the results are fascinating, not at all what one might have expected. Margaret Kennedy, author of the stunningly successful Constant Nymph, has long deserved recognition for her other works as well. This is an example of the best of them. It is a portrait of a way of life now dead, and a delicately effective satire of people who cannot resist the temptation to toss stones into still waters just to see what will happen, without considering how far and with how much inconvenience the ripples may spread.