In this complex and psychologically acute critique of the post-war family a husband’s paranoia concerning his young wife’s fidelity escalates just as she struggles to survive while surrounded by his oppressive insecurity.
Martha and Charles Pearson have been married for four years when Charles becomes convinced she is trying to poison him. Charles is desperately in love with his young, beautiful, and coolly removed wife, but he knows in his heart that she married him for his money. Martha, meanwhile, is miserable in the cage of her husband's psychotic paranoia. She struggles through her bland, textureless days, doing her best to care for him and to keep up appearances. When an embittered ex-boyfriend returns from four years away at war, a confrontation with him is all Martha needs to turn her life upside down. Experiment in Springtime is the poignantly observed story of an unfortunately entered marriage, a novel that scrapes away the veneer of domestic bliss to reveal the heartbreaks, neuroses, and dissatisfactions of the mythical post-WWII nuclear family.