The Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe
published 1958 chapter 24
[Ronnie, newly arrived in New York, has been given the phone number of a girl called April]
‘As a matter of fact’ April Morrison said, ‘I am free tonight. But just for cocktails. I could meet you in front of my office at half past five.’…
‘All right’ he said, trying not to stammer. ‘I’ll have on a light gray suit.’
‘So will I’ April said. She laughed. ‘See you soon.’
He didn’t have the faintest idea where to take a girl for cocktails before dinner in New York, but he supposed she would know. She had sounded sophisticated…
He saw her, standing in front of the statue of Atlas, her hair blowing in the slight evening breeze that had come up. It was going to rain. Her hair was very golden in the lowering late day, with touches of red in it, short and blowing and bright. She did have a gray suit on, made of something silky and thin, so that he could see the curving outlines of her body. And she had a beautiful face. When she saw him approaching her she smiled at him.
observations: Helen Gurley Brown, the original Cosmo girl, died this week, so in her honour we’re visiting The Best of Everything again – no direct connection with HGB, and preceded her Sex and the Single Girl by several years, but definitely the right mood.
This entry should really be read in conjunction with the earlier one about this set of young women making their way in New York. It seems as though every such fictional group must include an aspiring actress (the audition scene, being feisty with the director, going on as an understudy, having an affair with another actor during out-of-town tryouts) - and Gregg, who takes the role in this book, has an unexpectedly chilling story. Caroline is the smart one, who wants more out of life than marriage and being a housewife, the one who most wants a career. April has (on the whole) enjoyed her bachelorette adventures, but (spoiler) is finally going to find true love after a few false starts and a bit of misery, and will be happy to say farewell to the New York years.
Links up with: The earlier visit to this book has a list of other entries on girls in the big city, to which should be added The Group. Dee Wells's Jane was another Cosmo girl.
The picture is from Wikimedia Commons.