THE CLOSEST KIN THERE IS by Clara Winston
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THE CLOSEST KIN THERE IS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A bleak, gaunt, intense novel of the New England back country, which against the constraint and the loneliness of a Vermont farm transcribes an inbred, outcast love. This is the story of the Darys; of Pa, wasted in mind and body, of Ma, proud and possessive, who levies an embattled, embittered hostility against her neighbors- and the world, and is determined to keep her only son, Lloyd, on the farm; and of Phyllis, a teacher, who is called back to the home which was ""still everything she'd hoped to get away from"". And in the months that follow, Ma's fight to retain Lloyd- in the face of the draft- becomes increasingly expensive, in pride, in the ordeal of work, and in the exclusion of Lloyd and Phyllis by a resentful community. So that with Ma's accident which takes her to a hospital for a time, Lloyd and Phyllis are left alone and to each other, to the recognition of a love between ""the closest kin there is"" which is cauterized by guilt and exacts its tragic reparations...A powerful story of passions which are circumscribed and condemned, severe- compassionate- controlled- this suggests (and can stand) the comparison with Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome. A distinguished piece of writing. But recommend cautiously.

Pub Date: June 19th, 1952
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace