THE CLARION PEOPLE by Audrey Lee

THE CLARION PEOPLE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Pretentiously vulnerable, incidentally inspirational, this interior first novel is about a sheltered, white-gloved country girl, Lillian Peoples, who comes wide-eyed to a city ghetto, is driven to lose and then regain her religious faith. The author's considerable sensitivity to the throbbing constancy of inhumanity of an arid cityscape--drunks wrangling, sub-human creatures picking through trash cans, death and callousness everywhere--is certainly' affecting. However, her ability to project an oppressive scenery is not, unfortunately, augmented by an ability to understand human beings engaged at eye level, or to exploit self-examination. Reaching into an allegorical treatment she just barely controls, the author attempts to personify the poles of Good and Evil; Good represented by a magnum of magnanimity named, alas, Herbert, a reporter who will write her story, and calls her ""Princess."" Carrying the ball for Evil is Nat, involved airily in dope and prostitution. Because of an innocent cache of Nat's ""stuff,"" Lillian is sent to jail, is finally released, attempts suicide, is prevented by Herbert, and her, soliloquies throughout the novel take place in a rest home where she flashbacks her religious depths and heights. A wildly self-indulgent morality tale with the curious appeal of the ingenuously inept.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1968
Publisher: McGraw-Hill