A DREAM OF KINGS by Davis Grubb


Email this review


Once more against a lowering landscape, much of the terror and the turbulence which gave The Night of the Hunter its impetus persists- but fails to carry what is almost a disembodied narrative of youthful fantasies and haunted fears. Tom Christopher, the nephew of the cold, scriptural Sarah, tells the story from the time when she opens her house-but not her heart- to Cathie Hornbrook, whose mother is dead, and whose worthless father Bije has gone off, leaving her only with the ""dream of kings"" and his ""high, proud returning"" with silks and jewels. This dream, which has an increasingly intense conviction for Cathy, often stands between them; they quarrel frequently; and as they reach maturity, Tom does not understand the nature of the attraction Cathy holds for him which forces him to commit his ""act of darkness"". Running away from home, Tom joins up in the Civil War, returns during the last weeks of the defeat (this is West Virginia) to find that Cathy is still waiting for her King A bijah and that his love for her cannot replace her dream-or finally bring her back from the woebegone world of the mindless..... A lush, lyrical, sometimes spectral, sometimes even grotesque projection, this lacks the physical power of the earlier book and leaves pause to wonder- in disbelief.

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1955
Publisher: Scribner