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This- Edna Lee's best book, counts on more than a holding story and a convincing central character to make its mark. For here is a story of the New South, that element that even before World War I first made use of Yankee ways to implement a lagging industry. The story tells of a cotton mill, milked by its owner, a woman, widowed, and determined to get what she wanted out of it, regardless of the cost to others. It tells too of a girl child whom Fate had buffeted- but whose character rang true. And of how later she found the responsibility of the mill hers, though she did not want it, and of how she built it into a mill which went beyond what the South had thought adequate- despite opposition ended, perhaps fortuitously, by violence. There's romance here, and there's a slow gradual knowing of an individual in the making. The early part savors a bit of Sara Crewe- but the complete Cinderella mot is not played out, and the more realistic handling gives the characterization greater authenticity. Edna Lee's The Queen Bee built on the reputation of her The Web of Days This may well repeat the success of that first book. Again- as with the others- the setting is Atlanta and its environs, and the theme of the false standards of the Old South is a recurrent minor note in a story reflecting changing times.

Pub Date: Oct. 23rd, 1953
Publisher: Appleton-Century-Crofts