THE GOOD SOLDIER
A Tale of Passion
by Ford Madox Ford
(Vintage International: $6.95)
Narrator John Dowell and his wife, Florence, have known Capt. Edward Ashburnham and his wife, Leonora, "with an acquaintance-ship as loose and easy and yet as close as a good glove with your hand." For nine years both couples spend the late summer months at the German spa of Nauheim that specializes in the care of heart ailments.
Florence had told her husband "that if she became excited or if her emotions were really stirred her little heart might cease to beat"; for his entire married life he has been absorbed with nurturing his wife, directing conversations off controversial subjects such as poverty, crime, religion and love.