COME WINTER by Douglas C. Jones


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The saga of the Hasford family of Arkansas that began with Elkhorn Tavern and Roman continues, this time spanning the years from the end of Reconstruction to the turn of the century. A couple of characters from Jones' Spanish-American War novel Remember Santiago (1988) also turn up. Told largely in flashback, the story covers a period of astonishingly rapid change and development in the American frontier. Roman Hasford is the last in a line of pioneers in northwestern Arkansas. Having made a fortune in Kansas during the Civil War, he has returned to help his formidable mother--and to take charge of the family farm as his warhero father slips into early senility. Besides money, he has brought with him Catrina, a sadly abused young woman he rescued in Kansas. Hasford uses part of his wealth to establish the first commercial bank in the county. As the bank prospers, Hasford becomes a benign financial power. He also builds up a successful horse-breeding farm and erects the grandest house in the county, where he brings Catrina after they are married. The marriage, however, is not nearly as successful as the bank. Catrina is unable to love. Frustrated, Hasford tums to politics and becomes a kingmaker in the face of rabid opposition (from the editor of the local newspaper) and the dangerous enmity of a family of lowlives. Postwar prosperity and the coming of the railroad push the town into the American mainstream as Hasford--bitter for the lack of love--begins quietly to slip away from the action around him. Fine adventure--the history is rich, the story is intriguing, the characters are real. Jones' comer of Arkansas is becoming one of the most skillfully and attractively documented places in America.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1989
Publisher: Henry Holt