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A valley community in the South which is dominated by righteous Squire Whisenant and sin-preaching Brother Locke is shocked from their barren, bitter life when 19 year old Shade Motley and his fiddle stroll in -- and stay on. His music, the dances it encourages, the situations it creates, together with Shade's own antagonistic beliefs, soften the Squire, persuade Brother John and open the way for the Squire's two daughters to marry -- Saralee to Brother Locke and Jimmie to an uncooperative Shade. And twenty years later Shade and his five -- John Tom, R. L., Woodrow, Clefton, and Jackie -- discover a way to take their music further, for Saralee's son is back from the seminary to fight for the valley's return to sinless, godly ways. Radio and television welcome the Motleys and it is only after Jackie has proved to Brother John that he too can sin and the son of her victory has turned to a new kind of music that the Motleys return, to the delight of Brother Locke. A two-section novel, this is warm story of music and sin in its earlier part and a less persuasive narrative of folksong and a larger than life central character in its second. Those who have followed his previous Walk Through The Valley and Dunbar's Cove will find a special interest here.

Pub Date: Aug. 27th, 1959
Publisher: Scribner