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Her rich father calls his beautiful, brainy daughter "Princess". Her glamorous - and often jealous - mother calls her "Princess Priss". Her Big Man On Campus boyfriend calls her his fiance, until, inexplicably, she calls off the engagement. Only Gloria seems unsure of her true identity. She sees only a dark, rat-faced, neurotic intellectual hiding behind the facade of a clothes-horse debutante.
In this stylish literary novel, richly infused with the mood, mores and fashions of the 1950s, Gloria finds her carefully constructed world beginning to unravel the summer after she graduates from college. In her country club society, women wear girdles, three-inch heels and their boyfriends' fraternity pins, talk endlessly about boys and clothes, but seldom about books or ideas - Gloria's passions in life. Gloria has become a reluctant expert at preening and pretending her way through this claustrophobic, closeted community, but she must confront darker realities: the smoke-spewing mills that are the source of her father's wealth, the avuncular navy buddy of her father's who stalks her, and her own nightmares.
Keith Maillard has created another grandly detailed evocation of a past era, a novel that is both a remarkable literary achievement and a hugely entertaining read. Gloria is a delight for his many loyal fans and a wonderful story for those unfamiliar with his work.
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