THE SIGNPOST by E. Arnot Robertson


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This book (Book-of-the-Month for January) is dedicated to ""the good friends I am about to lose in Eire"". And yet, she has captured and faithfully portrayed the kindliness, the generosity, the warmheartedness of the people of Kildocey, who extended hospitality to the strangers camping on the edge of the quarry to the point of embarrassment -- certainly to the point of frustration of any attempt at privacy. To be sure, she has shown too the all-pervading and unintelligent power of the Church, in the person of Father Keith, who held them in thrall to his conception of their duty. She has shown the disintegrating effect of some of their most lovable characteristics, the persistence of the generations' old fight between Eire and Ulster, the loves and hates and unbridled passions of nationalism, the dangers and futility of isolationism. And she has caught, too, the feel of the countryside, the sea coast, the beauties of fog and sunshine, the warmth of emotion. Against all this, she has told a story of an R.A.F. flier, on sick leave, fighting a battle against an obsession of fear and shattered nerves, of his chance meeting and growing love for a French woman, Denyse, seeking to escape from her memories. Together they rebuild a sense of newfound strength in entering intimately the life of the village of Kildocey, where they had gene to forget. Father Keith senses their secret -- and warns them not to disturb the life of the village. But circumstances beyond their control are too much for them, and the element of the world outside, symbolized by ""the signpost"" reading To Dublin, and crystallized by the lovers, brings everything to the surface, changes the course of events. There is something of Eric Knight's. This Above All in the analysis of the emotional tangles of Tom Fairburn's mind; something of Anthony Thorne's Delay in the Sun in the interplay of outsiders on a remote community. And something else wholly E. Arnot Robertson's own-perceptive, sensitive, sometimes evasive, diffused, but worth searching out. Not a book for all readers, but with the book club impetus, off to a good start.

Pub Date: Jan. 4th, 1943
Publisher: Macmillan