The Speed of Summer: Dorothy Van Doren on August

Summer goes too swiftly.  And Dorothy Van Doren, an editor at The Nation and the wife of the critic Mark Van Doren, expresses my feelings exactly in her charming book, The Country Wife (1950).

Time, as it has a way of doing, passes.  The corn is silking, the tomatoes are large and green, the roses and delphiniums are over, and the annuals are beginning to bloom.  It is pretty hot in the daytime and we are thankful for our cool nights.  And on one of those nights, when it is not so cool and I am wakeful, the calendar comes home to me with rude force:  next Wednesday will be the first of August!

Has summer gone too fast for you, too?  I can’t believe it is August 24!  The Country Wife is a delightful chronicle of summers at the Van Dorens’ country house in Connecticut.  Dorothy Van Doren gardens, endures her husband’s carpentry projects, gets scratched-up picking blackberries, learns to eat puffballs, cans vegetables, and entertains guests (some welcome, some not).  If you like Gladys Tabor’s books, you might very well enjoy this quiet book.