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Book Review: Pitch Uncertain: A Mid-Century Middle Daughter Finds Her Voice by Maisie Houghton

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Pitch Uncertain: A Mid-Century Middle Daughter Finds Her Voice is a marvelous account of a timid, self-conscious female struggling to find herself within a complex family.

Maisie Houghton’s first memory as a four-year old child was cutting off her hair. Her mother’s reaction was surprising and not at all what Maisie was expecting.

Her mother’s family came from France in the seventeenth century and settled in the New York area. Her paternal grandparents were from New England but chose to live in New York where her grandfather did well on Wall Street. Maisie and her two sisters enjoyed a privileged life and looking in from the outside. Theirs was a childhood to be envied.

Her father Frank, was brilliant, elusive, with a fountain of friends, while her mother Sybil, stood for decorum, convention and security.

Her parents’ relationship was turbulent, causing a great deal of unhappiness in the family.

As a middle child Maisie was quiet and agreeable until she entered college. There she discovered a social life that changed her life. Through her whirlwind of dating, she learned just how complicated relationships can get.

When she met James R. Houghton, or “Jamie,” who was just finishing up at Harvard Business School, she wasn’t at all sure how it was going to end up.

This sensitive memoir of Maisie Houghton’s years growing up in New York society during the ’50s will keep you engaged to the end.

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