COUSIN WILLIAM by Della T. Lutes


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If you liked The Country Kitchen and Homegrown, you'll like this, for it is cut out of the same piecrust. Somehow, Mrs. Lutes seems to be able to repeat without reaching saturation. She can still -- in this text -- make the mouth water, though there are no full recipes this time; she can still give one the sense of seasons, the round of farm activities (the period dates back of Millbrook), the neighbors and the family. This book is first and last a family book; the solidarity of family feeling is shaken by the arrival of a cousin none of them knew, and all of them resented. And he -- deeply rooted in his imaginings of what his family would mean to him -- is hurt and withdraws, leaving them shaken and ashamed. The finale, in which restitution is made on a grand scale, is almost fictional in character, but movingly done. Not quite up to the others, perhaps, though there is the same good characterization, the same quality of nostalgic recapturing of a period when farmers lived high. But perhaps the final touch that Mrs. Lutes would have given had she lived, is what we miss.

Pub Date: Nov. 10th, 1942
Publisher: Little, Brown