THE WATERS OF THE END by Charles Ingle


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A first novel which came out of the Lippincott Contest for Young Novelists- and interesting -- for one reader anyhow- only as an indication of new talent. The book itself is a strained modernization of the Hippolytus legend, but Ingle is no modern Euripides nor Racine. There's a three generation portrait of family conflict in the Bruces of Virginia. There's the matriarch, Mrs. Bruce; her son Henry, longing for the artist's life he never had, and dissatisfied with his successive seductions; the sister-in-law Barbara, whom Henry covets, and who combines various mythological facets in that she caused her husband's death and loves her son. Then there are Barbara's children, Brian and Robert, and their cousin Richard. Ingle has small interest in plot structure, but probes endlessly the thoughts, emotions, sensibilities of his characters, whether they are performing routine functions or delving into their dark response to each other. At the close, as Brian sails out into a storm, one may assume that the Fates gather the younger generation to their doom. A lack of clarity, both in thought and expression, leaves the reader- this one at least-groping for meaning.

Publisher: Lippincott