One of the downsides of my particular field of librarianship is that I don't get to follow the trends of literature the way I might like to. And what with having a job and school and such, it really cuts down on any personal research and learning you might be interested in. Such as this--at one point I was trying to amass a collection of teen pregnancy books to do some sort of anthropological/sociological bibliographic essay on portrayals of the pregnant girl in American culture over time. Yes, I do wish it was 1925 and I could join the Red Bank Women's Club to keep myself up, what with my college degree and all.
Anyway, I came across this book in paperback in my weekly cleanout and immediately sat down to reread it. For a book written in 1967 about teens who have to get married, s-e-x awfully obliquely implied. I think that when I first read this book I didn't get it at all. But I keep returning to the story because of my own romantic views. To whit, there is none in this novel. July and Bo Jo are not having any sort of great affair when they marry--they barely know each other and admit as such. But marriage is what they choose and continue in. It isn't the flush of infatuation that keeps them together, or even emotional intimacy, but the commitment and the ideal of growing together. It's more adult than most novels in that way.
Which says a lot about me, too.