Very similar in caste to The Strange Children (1951), this is again an ambient, sometimes aimless portrait of some rather...

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THE MALEFACTORS

Very similar in caste to The Strange Children (1951), this is again an ambient, sometimes aimless portrait of some rather liberated literati and aesthetes, which shares with its characters the lack of definition of their lives. At Blencker's Bridge (a Pennsylvania Dutch community) a group of ex-expatriates have returned to settle (down is not used advisedly), among them Tom Claiborne and Vera- his wife, Max, a homosexual painter, Tom's cousin Crenfrew, a psychiatrist, and Marcia, his second wife. Crenfrew's first wife has become a devout Catholic- and as in the earlier book- Catholicism is an intermittent influence. The better part of the book concerns Tom who has reached a restless age- 48; Vera, while very wealthy, spends most of her time breeding cattle-and her cousin, Cynthia, attracts him. Vera makes an injured confrontation of Tom and Cynthia in Cynthia's New York apartment; she attempts suicide, and then finds escape on some sort of a Catholic farm, not only handling the pigs- but also ministering to an old man and a handicapped child. Tom finds her there- and it is the Catholic Church which gives him the answer which will mend their marriage..... A strange book, dealing as it does with spiritual and emotional deviates who have found little incentive-or purpose- to their lives- bemused- and for some it will also be bewildering.

Pub Date: March 2, 1956

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1956