DUNBAR'S COVE by Borden Deal

DUNBAR'S COVE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

There was a power in this author's first novel Walk Through The Valley (1956) which dealt with good and evil -- here there is a sweep of a bold dream that contrasts to and conflicts with a small dream of permanency and the concept and execution of TVA offers interludes to the story of David Dunbar. He and his children know a close warm taste of love in Dunbar's Cove, their land for generations, and the threat of confiscation is no threat for David's refusal to move listens to no arguments. Not even from Crawford Gates, orphan and rootless, for whom the TVA project has the impact of a myth and an idea so great that no one man can withstand it -- and Crawford loves David's older daughter Arlis. The work, the men on the dam take David's sons and daughter-in-law -but with Arlis and her younger sister Miss Hattle, and with his brother's sons, David stands fast on his land, resorts to threats and guns to defy government orders and does not recognize Arlis' marriage to Crawford. Until Crawford finds the answer that will let David retreat with honor and hope. The taming of a wild river, the specific details of the Chickasaw dam and of the people who learned what its benefits would be, vastness of a project for the people -- this is the trotting footnote for the feeling for a home place in which a gentle man resorts to violence and is turned from that by one of truer peace. A widening ens brings into focus a disputed 130's issue, links the visionary to the human terms, and argues private versus public enterprise with weighted polemics- which does not detract from its being a warmly moving story.

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 1957
Publisher: Scribner