Friday, June 15, 2007

reading Tryst to my granddaughter

I started reading Tryst by Elswyth Thane to Ruth today, even though her mom is skeptical/apprehensive because she's just nine and it's a supernatural romance. A romance between a shy 17 year old girl and a ghost of a recently killed 20-something British service officer (spy). Takes place between the two world wars. The book was first published in 1939, but my sister Marguerite and I discovered the Tempo 1962 reprint edition when a bookmobile came to our high school.

The tagline of the Tempo edition reads, "In the forbidden room at the top of the stairs, Sabrina found enchantment -- and love." It shows a picture of a prim young woman with her hair in a bun sitting in modest skirt, sweater and low heels. She is in full color. In front of her is Hilary, line drawn in green and black, looking straight ahead. He is transparent, so we can see Sabrina behind him.

I'd post a picture of the cover but I'm not near a scanner, and no images seem to exist on the web. I read that on amazon, that there are no scanned images of either of the editions of this book. If you read the reviews on amazon, you will see that this book struck quite a chord with the teenage girls like Marguerite and I who read the Tempo edition in the early 60's. I've got a gushing review myself. It's nice to see all the other Tryst fans out there.

I tried to find who owns the rights to her books, but struck out. Even the University in her home state which houses a collection donated by her estate does not know -- if I find out, they say, could I please let them know? I traced her literary agent to a small, one-person firm in NYC with which she apparently did business for years. After the agent died, the firm went out of business, with no forwarding information.

I wanted to option the rights to the book. It would make a terrific film, if someone would do it right.

The first chapter is a little hard going, lots of exposition and setting the atmosphere. I want to grab Ruth's attention, and right now she's being polite but I think she'll get hooked not long from now. We shall see.

1 comment:

Martin O'Shea said...

A graphic novel which may interest visitors to your blog is available from: www.forbiddenplanet.co.uk

'The Least Among Us' explores the response of the Church to suffering in itself and a preview is available on the Announcements section of: www.all-creatures.org/fol

All best wishes,

Martin O'Shea