TidePool Press

Publishers of Quality Non-Fiction

Pitch Uncertain: A mid-Century Middle Daughter Finds Her Voice
by Maisie Houghton

(6) Reader Comments

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“This is a lovely book. Maisie Houghton has indeed found her voice. The tone is unsentimental and, at the same time, compassionate. The way the author captures the magic of pretend play between sisters is thrilling. It's a page-turner! ”

—Caroline C Chinlund
Clinical Psychologist, NYC

“Deftest touch with a the most difficult subject: America's social aristocracy. Maisie writes with calm humor and penetration; her personal portraits are unique. If you want to know what "those people" are like, read her luminous story. ”

—Duncan Spencer
Old friend of M; former Washington Journalist

“Houghton, née Kinnicutt, grew up the middle of three girls in an East Coast family and, in 15 linked essays, now recounts her early life, from her ‘40s childhood to her ‘60s wedding and Radcliffe graduation, painting a portrait of a family unhappy in its very own way. The love between her steady, practical mother and freewheeling, mostly absent father withered early. He was charming but mercurial, and her overworked mother, Sybil, was plagued by sadness. The family is awash in intriguing connections, to J.P. Morgan, author Elizabeth Etnier, artist Gardner Cox, and others. Houghton writes best when recounting a scene; her details are evocative, the language lilting: "Life there was the trick of peeling a peach in one long silky strip." Her mother's sadness and Houghton's reserved nature make this a heavy read at times, resulting in the literary equivalent of the inexact pitch attributed to the author as a young girl by her music teacher. Yet the fleeting beauty of Houghton's prose makes this detailed portrait of an era a worthy read. Photos. ”

—Publisher's Weekly
January 24, 2011, Web Exclusive Review

“This is a a lovely memoir by Maisie Houghton, It tells with great charm and insight of growing up ( in Cambridge MA, on a Maine, Long Island, Saint Tim's School etc) in less than optimal emotional conditions with sympathetically depicted but disparate and emotionally skewed parents, of experiencing social and educational privileges but never quite enough money. Through out the book the author delights with her gentle humor and an honest account of her own and her family's foibles and strengths. of An "upper" among the memoirs of today,Maisie Houghton's book ultimately focuses on the gifts she found in her own and the larger world.It is a redemptive story. ”

—Meg Devereux
an island fan

Pitch Uncertain: A Mid-Century Middle Daughter Finds Her Voice gives the Duchess of Devonshire a serious run for her money. ”

—Craig Olson
Artisan Books & Bindery, Islesboro, Maine

“I read it in galleys - it's wonderfully & delicately written - this is far from the army of published tiresome memoirs about perceived parental neglect - Pitch Uncertain" is tender and wise and loving and forgiving. ”

—Anstiss Krueck

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Pitch Uncertain

ISBN 978-0-9755557-6-7 24.95
2010 • 224 pages

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