RIVER ROAD by Frances Parkinson Keyes


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Once again Mrs. Keyes has created out of familiar ingredients a story that is good entertainment with no pretensions at literature, but with sure assets for popular sales and rentals. She's gone back to the setting of Crescent Carnival using Louisiana as her background -- Baton Rouge and plantation life instead of New Orleans. A contemporary story-(the period immediately following the last war provides parallels for today); well-to-do planters in the sugar belt; intimate details of the plantation life, the luxuriously run households, the intricate machinery of running the plantation- all handled with the glamorous minutiae in which she excells. Then the story, a returned war hero, son of one of the great houses, turns in marriage to a girl from the wrong side of town, the girl who had waited for him in single-hearted devotion. He takes her home and she makes for herself a place in his life, even winning over his mother and sister, whose own affairs have a less happy ending. The story goes on to the next generation with Vail, brought up as one of the twins, as central figure- Vail who is actually the sister's own child. Mrs. Keyes is less successful in handling the complexities of the psychological situation than in her social conflicts...A panoramic novel with plots and sub-plots rather than the connected flow of a single story; a picture of Louisiana of the Huey Long regime, though the political aspects are somewhat dragged in and hold little interest. Not an important book -- but a sure best seller.

Publisher: Messner