Category Archives: Sims, Marian

Marian Sims. The City on the Hill. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1940.

Lawyer Steve Chandler seems to be the only honest man in the fictional North Carolina city of Medbury. Chandler takes on social injustice, a corrupt police force, organized crime, bigotry, and public apathy in the courtroom, at his church, in his social circles, and on the streets. For the most part, it’s a losing battle in a novel that paints an unflattering portrait of a southern city (thought to be Charlotte) in the early twentieth century.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1940, 1940-1949, Mecklenburg, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Piedmont, Sims, Marian

Marian Sims. Call It Freedom. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1937.

As the harsh realities of the Great Depression decimate Ralph Harvey’s insurance business, his drinking habits cross a line that his wife Martha can’t accept.  When Ralph fails to reform, Martha decides to divorce him. As the novel opens, Martha has returned to Hanover (a fictionalized Charlotte, the author’s hometown) from Reno, Nevada, divorce decree in hand.  Looking at her house, empty for four months, and meeting old friends at the grocery brings home to Martha the import of what she has done.  How will she raise her nine-year old son? How will she spend her time?  The bridge parties, golf outings, and shopping trips of her past no longer have allure. She also finds that navigating her social set as a single woman is far more complicated than she ever knew. In the year covered in this novel, Martha finds her way. Although the setup of the novel is dated, Martha’s journey will be interesting to contemporary readers.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1930-1939, 1937, Mecklenburg, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Piedmont, Sims, Marian

Marian Sims. Storm before Daybreak. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott and Co., 1946.

Paul Shannon, a Marine veteran, returns home to Hartsboro (a fictionalized Charlotte) at the end of World War II.  Paul had always liked to party and run around, but the war has changed him.  Things at home have changed too.  Unbeknown to Paul, his mother has died and his brother Jim has abandoned his young wife and child in the family home.   Paul moves into the house with his sister-in-law and they soon fall in love.  Jim’s return creates a crisis.  The novel has psychological depth; it’s also a window on social mores of the mid-twentieth century.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1940-1949, 1946, Mecklenburg, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship, Sims, Marian