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Kitty Foyle

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  164 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Kitty Foyle is a 1939 American novel by Christopher Morley. A bestseller in 1939 and 1940, it was adapted as a popular 1940 film.

The novel tells of a white-collar girl who falls in love with a young socialite, despite the objections of his family. Contemporary Authors noted: "Central to the story is protagonist Kitty's affair with the affluent Wyn Strafford. Critics heate
Hardcover, 339 pages
Published June 1st 1988 by Amereon Limited (first published 1939)
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Eve i'm not sure what you mean by "clean". basically if you've ever seen the movie, the book focuses more on kitty in college training to be an office wor…morei'm not sure what you mean by "clean". basically if you've ever seen the movie, the book focuses more on kitty in college training to be an office worker, relationships with her gal friends, her relationship with her father, and it talks about like everyday observations of a young woman in the 1930s. it makes the movie look a lot more like Cinderella.

she has somewhat a dark sense of humor. she talks about how men are treated differently than women. if i remember correctly, the marriage & pregnancy were much more controversially dealt with in the book than in the movie, (although it was realistic to the experiences of women in that era). so it might not be "clean". the contemporary movie studios didn't think it was.

other than that

also she uses the word "queer" a lot as in the phrase "isn't it queer that/how". in the 1930s "queer" meant "peculiar" or "strange" or funny in the sense of "funny money". so basically the language is different.

also back in that era "slut-shaming" was so intense & common that "baby it's cold outside" was interpreted as consensual & sexy.

TLDR it depends on how you feel about sexuality & feminism, as well as tolerance for cultural differences when reading historical documents.(less)

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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  164 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Jul 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wonderful book. Hard to believe I'd never even heard about it until now. (And I've been around a while.) Written in a fresh, vigorous, stream-of-consciousness style which gives it a 'modern' edge. Also written by a male writer writing first person as first, a young girl, and later, as a young woman. Very true to its times, and with many references I recall my grandparents and great aunt talking about. Just so alive and colorful, if someone told me it had been written today, but set in a past tim ...more
Jan 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vintage, fiction
I hope it's always possible to get your hands on a copy of this book, somewhere. So that people will stumble upon it and fall in love with it.

This is a story, kind of racy for its time, of a girl who is working and growing up in the first half of the century. There are really important pop culture references in here, and that's part of what I love -- immigrant pop culture is here. Kitty's dad is an Irishman who plays cricket and is getting old and infirm. Kitty's a Philadelphian who gets involv
Mar 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
There's a lot I don't like about this book because, let's be honest: there's a lot wrong with it.

First of all: the grammar is atrocious. He comma splices and slaps semi colons everywhere unnecessarily, and then he'll let a sentence just go on, and on, and on forever. Did he have an editor? And, okay, I get it-- the rules of English change and vary and grow. But jeez; it had none of the finesse or eloquence of hundreds of novels that came before it.

I also hated his tone. Could he have been more
Barbara VA
I guess that I never realized that one of my favorite movies was a book. There are not many adaptations that I like, I am usually on the side of the book. This case is different, I honestly prefer the movie. I heard Ginger Rogers tell me the entire story. Her character was well drawn but Wyn was weak, he had a few moments but, other than charm, he did nothing for me. I was most drawn to the stories of friends chatting together over work and life and loved the descriptions of the retail industry ...more
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m not sure why I remain shocked when a book from the past is kinda racy! This one was a best seller in 1939 and 1940 AND was the basis for a movie starring Ginger Rogers. Yet, our protagonist, Kitty, is a single gal who’s gotten pregnant out of wedlock AND had an abortion. Having just read “A Tree Grow in Brooklyn,” and “”Sister Carrie,” it’s hard not to compare the three, especially “Tree” being published after “Kitty” in 1943. All 3 have to do with working gals. Kitty is more middle class th ...more
I enjoyed this book far more than I thought I would considering how successfully it has faded into obscurity. I tracked my copy down at a local used bookstore when I discovered the library copy was only available via special request.

It was fun to read because it is a book that is very much a product of its time (traditional gender roles, constant visits to speak-easies, racist language), but it also feels very timeless and contemporary in Kitty's reflections on life and human nature. With the s
May 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Not a "classic" but yet widely read when it debuted in 1939 (also made into a very "dramatic" chick-flick movie in 1940).

Told in the first person, girl from the wrong side of the tracks meets and falls in love with a guy from the other side. Smart Kitty knows it won't last after she meets his family but can't help herself as she falls into the affair. Ahead of its time regarding what young women were thinking (ie. smoking, drinking, and sex!) but it was written by a man which was surprising.

A d
Jul 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Sue by: Thea Drell Hodge
I finished re-reading this classic novel from the late 1930s, for the first time since I was a teenager. (My mother had given it to me then.) A sweet & charming book, a little slow-moving for today's tastes, but it so captures the spirit of that time and the lives of the "white collar girls," as the narrator (Kitty Foyle) calls them.

Apparently, the book was a big bestseller in its day. It was also made into a 1940 Oscar-winning movie, starring Ginger Rogers as Kitty.
Heather Costa
Oct 03, 2014 rated it liked it
I wish there was a 3 and half stars because I did really like this book. Not quite enough to rate a 4 though. I love that its written in 1939 so you get the jargon they used then. I love that it discusses sex without putting it in your face. That's how things were then. Subtle. I also love that she didn't throw herself at his head and chase him. Women today could learn from class like that.
Apr 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
If you like good literature, this is the book for you. It's a classic, describing the different classes of people in the 1920's and 1930's in Philadelphia and Chicago. I LOVED THIS BOOK.
Jan 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book was listed as one of the best written in 1939. It is a bit disappointing to me. More on:
Nov 15, 2011 rated it liked it
for some reason i wanted to read ths book. it was written in 1939 and must have been scandalous in its day. but a good story. i hear the movie is good as well
Jun 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Found this copy at a book sale. Loved the movie, can't wait to read the original story.

I did like this and kept hearing Ginger Rodgers narrate. Now I have to see the movie again.

Jeff Mayo
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked this more than I thought I would. A young woman falls in love with a rich man. Much was made at the time of the controversy of her getting pregnant without being married, which was almost as scandalous as her having an abortion, which also happened. Most interesting to me was that this was told through first person narration of the woman, even though it was written by a man. There may have been some sexism of the day, "I will write a woman because who else could, if not a man," but it is ...more
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A must read for anyone who loves literature. What a great discover on the shelves of my local library, a repaired first edition no less. Morley’s prose is fun to read and even more delicious to decipher. I loved reading this novel, with raised eyebrows more than a few times by how we haven’t really, as a society, changed at all but also, how a character like Kitty Foyle came to life in the late 1930s....
Maria Wroblewski
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting story in a voice of a white collar young woman of the late 20's early 30's. However it was dated. Yes, eventually all books become dated with time; however, the great ones have few language puzzles to solve. This book uses too much slang that doesn't add to the narrative. Also I have to wonder about Morely's overuse of "nigger" and "wop."
Aug 19, 2019 rated it did not like it
Spare yourself.

The movie is better.
Jan 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Kitty Foyle, written by Christopher Morley, is a book about a good old American girl growing up in the 1920s and 30s. It was written in 1939 and became one of the most popular books of that year. The book was also turned into a movie starring Ginger Rogers. As far as the movie goes, it’s the same old tale—the book it much better. In fact, the book goes into so much more detail about Kitty’s past that the movie can hardly be considered more than the use of the character with little to no use of t ...more
Trudy Ackerblade
I loved this book. Christopher Morley has become one of my favorite authors. I have read three, Parnassus on Wheels, The Haunted Bookshop and now Kitty Foyle. Not a clinker in the group. This is the first person narrative of a "white collar girl" in the 1920,s and 1930's. It is hard to believe this book was written in 1939 and that it was written by a man. Christopher Morley clearly understood a lot about the desires and fears of all kinds of people.
Sep 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book mixes a working class/Main Line Philadelphia, depression-era, and white collar working girl struggles into one terrific story. Most of the themes are timeless and still with us today. The writing style is first-person and old fashioned, and all the more enjoyable for being so.
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have to thank Vicki for recommending this book to me and then lending me her copy. I really enjoyed this as much for the way the story is told (stream of consciousness) as for the characters and places.

One caveat, it was written in 1939 so there is quite a bit of political incorrectness.
Oct 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Just loved this book. African American place in families dated but probably appropriate for the times. Reread this again. Christopher's philosophies on life through out the book (as Kitty) are great and should be remembered (by me)

Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My mother, a professional stenographer, related to Kitty. Reading this book helped me grasp the world of the rising white collar woman in 1930's America.
Jul 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorites and one of the few I hang onto permanently.
Jan 04, 2011 rated it liked it
I was not as shocked by this book as I am sure many were when it originally appeared back in 1944. Great story. The novel I read had a 35 cent price on it so that sort of tells you how old it was.
Karen Bahal
Jun 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Karen by: T.V (saw the movie)
Nice novel !
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Sep 03, 2018
Buffy Rochard
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Mar 15, 2013
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Christopher Morley was an American journalist, novelist, essayist and poet. He also produced stage productions for a few years and gave college lectures.

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