THE TREES by Conrad Richter
Kirkus Star


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In 1936 I felt I'd made a personal discovery in a collection of frontier stories by an unknown writer, Early Americana. In 1937, The Sea of Grass made me confident that here was a young writer who had something to say, and who knows how to say it. There was danger of his being swept away by his own power of rhythm in words. Now in The Trees he has written the book I had hoped for, and he has learned simplicity and naturalness, and gained in sweep and power. There is something of Marjorie Rawlings in her novel South Moon Under, and yet this is distinctive and original, in a picture of life dominated by environment virgin forests, the wilderness west of the Alleghenies and north of the Ohio, at the end of the 18th century. It is the story of a family of youngsters, for the mother dies early in the book, and the father is cursed with an itching foot, and cannot bear to stay long in one place. Particularly it is the story of Sayward, the eldest girl, who held the family together, and who met the blows as they came. Adventure, romance in the raw, frontier life with its cruelty and its beauty. A fine book, in which the publishers have confidence and which they are backing with $5,000 initial advertising appropriation, posters, and advance copies to the trade. March selection of the Book of the Month Club.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1940
ISBN: 0821409786
Publisher: Knopf