There's the lilt of the Irish in the mood and tempo of this tempestuous novel built around a disintegrating political...



There's the lilt of the Irish in the mood and tempo of this tempestuous novel built around a disintegrating political campaign. The locale- west of the Alleghenies, in the general vicinity of the Mason and Dixon line, the people, second and third generation Irish, Democrats, Catholics, and in the main out for self interest. Betsy Donlon tells the story, from the railroad accident that precipitated her into the center of interest as a small group of men are negotiating the particulars which will put Ivor Kelly, one time wonder boy, into the running for governor. Kelly could at one time have had anything he wanted; he came out of the war with all sorts of medals; he had immense personal charm; and he had won the daughter of one of the big Hollywood magnates as wife. After her death in a motor accident, drink had brought him almost to oblivion. But his new backers saw him as a possibility to beat the colorless other candidate. Betsy, 18 and homeward bound to help pick up the pieces of her politician father, Pat's, financial debacle, finds herself drawn to Kelly and willing to play along under the wing of his publicity manager, Kirby, old time friend of her father's and aspiring to her favors. And then the troubles begin. One is caught up into the whirling merry-go-round of the campaign; one suffers with Betsy- as Kelly breaks his pledge and takes to the bottle; one sees the writing on the wall when a chance gesture of kindliness involves Kelly in a groundless rape charge a charge nonetheless used by the opponents with deadly effect; and one sees the ramparts fall as his backers desert him. The finale is a bit melodramatic- and seems to afford too easy a solution to what might have been simply a dead-end. Mary Deasy speaks for her people; but somehow the level of her books rarely reaches the first- The House of Spring. But in a year when political novels are in the running, this has an even chance.

Pub Date: Nov. 21, 1955


Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown- AMP

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1955