LITTLE HELL -- BIG HEAVEN by Edith Roberts


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This recalled Alice Duer Miller's early best seller, Manslaughter, only with the situation reversed. This time it is a spoiled scion of the rich, Phil Meade, who wracks another human life, in mad drunken driving through the slums of which he knew nothing, save that his rich father had spent many thousands on boys' clubs to redeem the poor from the streets and crime. Chicago is the scene, Chicago in 1941. And the long arm of coincidence brings together Phil and his sister Andrea, who had never recovered from her love for a young idealist of humble birth who was set upon living with the poor he wished to study and help -- the family of Lucy, whose body Phil had broken, and Glen Brackett who wanted Andrea more than anything in life, but whose whole sense of fulfilment lay in doing what he could to get at the roots of the problems of the Mareskas and the Bonafedes and thousands like them in the teeming underworld and tenement world of Chicago's slums. The accident changes the pattern of these lives, weaves them into a new fabric, and jolts both Phil and Andrea from the grooves that wealth and cushioned consciences had created. Good enough reading, but -- on analysis and second thought -- a pretty obvious manipulation of circumstances and characters to give credence to a thesis.

Pub Date: Aug. 28th, 1942
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill