The Build-up: Volume 3, Stecher Trilogy
Author: William Carlos Williams
Publisher: New Directions (1970)
The Build-up, Volume 3 of the Stecher Trilogy, picks up the thread of White Mule and In the Money. Although all of the novels deal with the triumphant rise of an immigrant family in the early 1900s, The Build-up is more concerned with the overwhelming drive and ambition of Joe Stecher's wife, Gurlie. After years of hard work, careful planning (and his wife's badgering) Joe's printing business is providing his family with a comfortable income. As soon as her financial goal is realized, Gurlie focuses her attention on another area. Her phenomenal energy is soon earning her all unassailable position as a social leader in a small New Jersey suburb. Her achievement is not without its heartache, however. This story is told with all the gentle humor and exacting detail that mark Williams's prose works.