THE LAST OF THE SOUTHERN WINDS by David Loovis

THE LAST OF THE SOUTHERN WINDS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Last year's for was a young first novel about an affair- in New York and Provincetown. This, while it isn't much older, concentrates on Key West- with its ""strange ambiance"" (sic) but otherwise is rather unfocussed except to introduce a number of ambiguous characters- in search of a plot. Also unfocussed is the central character and narrator, Carl Solon, 25, who goes down there- to look over the restaurant Southern Winds (as an investment for his uncle) and resolve his future - he is out of a job. As a waiter, he is fully exposed to this ""strange ambiance""; the celebrity crowd who hang out there; the assorted waiters and kitchen staff; the natives; and Jake Romano who runs the Southern Winds, along with part-owner Charlotte, a deaf, untidy, aging, attractive woman of forty odd who has run through 4 husbands and many affairs. Most of the people Carl meets have piquant sexual habits; Romano has some underworld connections; and while Romano's stroke, and a fire, sees the last of the Southern Winds. Carl at least makes a new start. He decides to marry Charlotte- while unsuitable in age, she is ""appropriate"". Much of this, as in the earlier book, suggests a fresh and fairly recent experience (a winter on the beach, of looking- and learning? and jotting down small impressions- Carl Solon does) -- but sharing and caring are two very different things.

Pub Date: Jan. 25th, 1961
Publisher: Scribner