THE AFFAIR AT HONEY HILL by Berry Fleming

THE AFFAIR AT HONEY HILL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In Savannah, just a few days before Sherman's Union army is set to overrun it, an aging Georgia volunteer by the name of Daws is involved in a last-ditch Confederate effort to effect a West-Point-like maneuver: placing a chain across the river near Honey Hill, thus stopping advancing Yankee ships. But being at Honey Hill, and for a time under the command of a colonel named Ferebee, sets Daws remembering: he recalls a secret affair years before with Ferebee's wife Julia (while Daws was employed as a free-lance copyist of the local preacher's book, History of the House of God), an affair which produced a son. . . though Daws went off and is now seeing Julia for the first time in years. A nice enough notion, perhaps. But the pleasant tang of Fleming's bouncily unassuming Two Tales for Autumn (1979) is missing here: Daws' retrospective musings are the whole book--and nearly every sentence is ruminative, gerundive (""Thinking a minute, then saying with a smile of his own. . .,"" ""Not worth answering but turning to look back. . .,"" ""Galloping away from here on the white sands road. . . ""). So, although this 93-page novella boasts evocative descriptions of the Georgia marshes and a pleasantly valedictory mood overall, the wearying narrative mode is an insoluble barrier to enjoyment.

Pub Date: July 7th, 1981
Publisher: Cotton Lane Press (2 Cotton Lane, Augusta, GA 30903)