Shadow on the Hearth by Judith Merril
New York : Doubleday, 1950. Signed by Judith Merril. First Edition. Stated. Hardcover. 277 pages ; 22 cm. $3.00 dust jacket with minimal wear. Blind stamp on inner front flap. Pages are age toned and unmarked. Binding is firm.
SHADOW ON THE HEARTH BY JUDITH MERRIL
SHADOW ON THE HEARTH is the story of Gladys Mitchell, a young, attractive Westchester housewife who, through hope and courage, successfully fought the chaos in the wake of an atomic war.
This day started as it usually did. Gladys occupied herself with the irksome but satisfying routine of a pleasant and happy household. Then she half noticed the sound—a sort of far-off thunder. Soon there was the ominous feeling of something wrong; and finally the dawning, numbing comprehension. . . . Then the frantic terror, mounting slowly as the great mushrooming cloud had mounted a few hours ago over New York Harbor.
As the Holocaust reached out and seemed to envelop all, Gladys thought first of her family. Was her husband alive or dead? How could she protect her two daughters from this insidious enemy?
She found staunch and unexpected allies in her own children, in a mysterious fugitive, and in an idealistic young doctor. Together they welded courage and understanding to triumph over terror and desperation.
JUDITH MERRIL unlike the usual young author, never wanted to be a writer. Schooled in Philadelphia and New York City, she had the usual exposures to creative writing on school and camp newspapers, but she withstood infection. During the war, while her husband was in service and the Navy allotment was not quite adequate for herself and her small daughter, she lowered the guard slightly and got a little closer, working as a literary assistant, researcher, and ghost writer. Finally, she says, "I quit my current ghost-writing job, and, in the odor of still-burning bridges, sat down to become a fiction writer, having lost the battle against 'being a writer.' Miss Merril started right off selling stories regularly to the magazines, and shortly after became a full-time editor in a publishing house. She is the editor of a recent science-fiction anthology, Shot in the Dark.
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