AMOS JACKMAN by Daniel Doan


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This has the substance of a modern genre novel -- but falls down badly in the execution. The atmosphere of the New Hampshire backwoods is there; the theme of the period of adjustment in a marriage between a youth of the country and a girl of the city provides the skeleton for the plot; but all that happens fails completely to realize the potentials. Amos Jackman, middle son of a family that has owned a New Hampshire farm for two hundred years, chance meets and falls in love with the spoiled only daughter of city folk with a vacation lodge nearby. There is curiously little opposition on either side to their marriage, curiously little emotional conflict in the young people's bland acceptance of the pitfalls. Then comes the trouble, as Joan yields not a whit to the challenge- and Amos protests too little against the cushioning her father's money provides. The winter proves the final straw. Joan loses her baby; Amos gives in to the necessity of selling the farm; and the story ends on an incredible note of freedom gained, and no recognition of freedom lost, as they accept a small apartment and a job with a machine and tool company in its place. Here might have been a modern Loo to the Mountain -- but the end result is a substanceless shadow.

Publisher: Beacon Press