From dust jacket: “High Street, Chinaman’s Flat, might have been exchanged for any other High Street in North Gippsland, and no one have known the difference,” writes Miss Blewett in this absorbing story of life in one of Victoria’s small country towns. A West Australian gum, glorious with bright red bloom, a feathery jacaranda tree, pepper trees, and those tall, stark pines that so often flank the playground of a small-town schoolhouse are all here to lend authentic background to a tale of human joys and sorrows, triumphs and despairs that will not easily be forgotten. You will recognise in Caleb Williamson the school-master, in Arthur Marshall the town’s solicitor and in Bill Crotty, the bank manager, types that you not only have heard of, but known. In the young doctor and his wife, in Claude Clancy and in Lars Hansen and Catherine Treganowan you will meet a group of young people that might be met to-day in any of our more prosperous country districts. Jenny David, the central figure in the drama, you will not meet. But you will learn to know her intimately. She lives and breathes in every page of this extraordinarily satisfying story."
From review 'A Popular Scandal Humanised' in Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954) , Saturday 14 May 1949, page 5:
Dorothy Blewett delves interestingly into an ever-present social problem in her latest novel, "Pattern for a Scandal." The story is built around Jenny David, a young, unmarried mother, in the small town of Chinaman's Flat, North Gippsland. From the situation evolve a series of'counter-plots, including matrimonial entanglements, feuding over a will and the downfall of a bully. Miss Blewett has created some interesting characters. Mother Clancy, the oldest resident of Chinaman's Flat—"I'm ninety-two—yes, my body is ninety-two. I died seventy years ago"—holds the purse strings to an inheritance which her large and vindictive family vie to inherit. Caleb Williamson, the schoolmaster, is Jenny's great-uncle, and the person who draws the character of the story together. The book attempts some humanitarian, and tolerant arguments on the question of an unmarried mother. Jenny becomes the topic of conversation, and nieighbours give the reader an insight into their own character by their attitude to the "scandal" in their midst "Pattern for a Scandal".Is written in a pleasant, polished style, with a good narrative and the colour of real people. (Australasian Publishing Co. Psy. Ltd., 9/6). G.B.L.
Review in New Fiction section of Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 1954), Saturday 14 May 1949, page 8. "The scene of Miss Blewett's novel is the small North Gippsland town of Chinaman's Flat, where the inhabitants have been set gossiping by the news that Miss Jenny David, the attractive infants' teacher and ward of old Caleb Williamson, the headmaster, is to have a child. Old Uncle Caleb, whose son-in-law, the unhappily married Grant West, is the father of the child, is the last person in the town to hear the story. Soon tongues are wagging, even amongst the children, and the pattern of the novel emerges as an account of the way various townspeople react to the news. At the same time Miss Blewett reveals something of the lives, and characters of these people; the eager young doctor and his wife who, as a result of this scandal, win through a crisis in their marriage; the pedantic solicitor and his spinster sister; the bank manager, too fond of drink; Cathy Treganowan, friend of Jenny and in love with Claude Clancy; old mother Clancy, the wise proprietress of the Drovers' Rest Hotel; the priest, the parson who lost his faith as a result of the scandal, and Peter Cramp the schoolboy whose shouted obscenities made Jenny leave the town. Of these people the most striking is old Caleb, with his poignant memories of the past, his pride in the town, and his position in it as leader, and his worries over the problem of Jenny. This is an earnest, tolerant little novel, weakened by two qualities: the unnecessary and forced device by which Jenny, who should be the living, central character, is kept from making an appearance, and the occasional deviations from consistency of character, found especially in the priest, Mrs. Treganowan, Claude Clancy, and Cathy.
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