THE WAYPARERS by Dan Wickenden
Kirkus Star


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There's a dearth of the sort of book about people that this is, which should make it easy to sell, particularly when you can also say that it is good reading. It is a family story, set in a Middle West large town not far from Detroit -- between the wars period and middle class social status. The father is a city editor, in his fifties, a widower who has gone into the deptha after his wife's death, and is early slowly emerging to a sense of his responsibility about his virtually grown children, eleven years later. And then it seems too late -- his interest is considered prying and is resented. Charlie, his eldest son, shocks him by his fascistic ideas -- fostered by his being pretty well down and out himself; Laurette, the eldest daughter, has a night club job -- but is doing her share in keeping Charlie's little family together; Patrician has fallen out of love with Johnny, who had because her steadily for years, and into love with a glamorous young newspaper man, brought home by her father one evening; and Joel, at fourteen, is completely and stolidly self sufficient. But Rourke, Pat's new suitor, shocks them all into disruption by maliciously spreading gossip about their dead mother -- and the fat's in the fire. It takes some heartbreaks -- and a death -- before emotions become his entangled, and the family finds that they still have a kind of unity, and a chance to build for the future....Good pace of story -- sound characterization, if at times a trifle overdraws -- and excellent dialogue (of which there is too little in most books today). Reurke's abnormal sex life strikes a note that may be distasteful to conservatives, but it is not offensively handled. Wickenden is fulfilling his early promise.

Pub Date: June 21st, 1945
Publisher: Morrow