TACEY CROMWELL by Conrad Richter
Kirkus Star


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Those who have followed the record of Conrad Richter will be interested in this fresh evidence of his versatility and sureness of handling whatever problem he undertakes. Tacey Cromwell has, perhaps, a better chance to reach a wide public than Sea of Grass. Personally, I don't think it is as fine a piece of writing; its subtleties are more obvious, its characterizations somewhat more traditional. But it is a good story, supremely well told, and the implicit weighing of values, as the ""good women"" of a mushroom mining town blast the chances of a new life when they decide that a woman once of a ""sporting house"" is not fit protector and guardian of youth, is a commentary on traditional values of right and wrong. At the start there was Tacey and there was who worked in the gambling hall. Then there was Nugget, Gaye's young brother and Tacey insisted on a new start, so the trio moved to Bisbee. Tacey didn't have enough to do, and joyfully added wild young Seely and the baby to the household. She understood Seely and loved her; Sealy was her own youth come back. But the ""good women"" took the children away from her; Gaye's ambitions were spurred and he married Seeley's foster mother; Seely ran wild and broke their hearts -- and eventually went back to Tacey. And at the end, the four were together again -- Tacey and Gaye, Sealy and Nugget. But between the beginning and the end, lives were made and broken. A psychological novel, recalling faintly, Lost Lady, but standing firmly on its own merits.

Publisher: Knopf