Van Every has a faculty for making his readers feel a part of the wilderness which provides his settings. This was true in...

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THE CAPTIVE WITCH

Van Every has a faculty for making his readers feel a part of the wilderness which provides his settings. This was true in Journey; it is true here. He is less successful in winning the reader's loyalty to his characters. Adam Frane should have been an appealing hero. He had a sturdy frontier spirit. He had courage and ingenuity and also hardihood. And he seemed- at the story's start- to have a singular capacity for loyalty to an ideal, Cynthia Wyeth, who had years before captured his heart. He was with George Rogers Clark at Vincennes, and manoeuvred himself into an assignment that took him back to Virginia and the lady of his dream. With him went tough, likeable Bert Rogar. All went as planned- Cynthia, a widow now, found Adam to her liking, and manipulated her brothers into line- quite an achievement for it meant an upheaval from Virginia's amenities to Kentucky's crudity. Then came complications in the form of Nita, a white captive who resented rescue and fought like a wildcat against Adam's idea that she belonged with the whites. With winter Adam and Nita were held, cavebound but inviolate. Adam thought his one desire was to be rid of her. But Nita was no child- and planned beyond the moment- laid siege to Adam's heart- and when the final test came, Cynthia knew that the frontier meant freedom- and Nita- to Adam. A good yarn, with much of the spirit of the times, and the men that built our country. That the emotional values are tenuous and superficial may, perhaps, matter little to the audience for this sort of tale.

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 1951

ISBN: 054839055X

Page Count: -

Publisher: Messner

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1951