Not a particularly bracing successor to the author's successful I Heard the Owl Call My Name (1973), this baldly...

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WALK GENTLY THIS GOOD EARTH

Not a particularly bracing successor to the author's successful I Heard the Owl Call My Name (1973), this baldly sentimental, loudly preachifying saga takes a family from the good, simple, old days of solid virtue before World War II up to the present--all of it set in the Pacific northwest and Montana. Except for father Westcott, who exhibits a certain off-beat elegance, this brood--Angela and Cathy, Ed and Jim, foster child Neal, and ""servant"" Maria (who will become a nun)--is noble and pure-hearted beyond belief. Also cloying and a bit unreal. ""We are going to share that hushed strange expectancy that keeps all the voices so soft and muted,"" proclaims sprout Neal before the family sets off to scale the majesty of Snow Mountain. After the death of Judge Westcott, the grown children move together to Montana with a dear friend, and the remainder of the story belongs more or less to Cathy and Neal, who marry after his return from the war. There's lots of stirring scenery, and Craven knows her day-to-day farming and ranching. However, her penchant for moralizing brings forth sermons and editorials which, whether or not you go along, stand out like rocks in the soup: ""Harsh necessity had reared her ugly head. . . . Hoover became the nation's whipping boy, even though he was the only president to give up a year's salary. . . and had planned reforms Mr. Roosevelt initiated as his own."" Nonetheless--The Owl hit bestseller-dom and was made into a TV movie, so don't underestimate the power of this sugar-coated sapsucker to perch next to the Waltons--and slightly to the right.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 1977

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1977