A SUMMER'S TALE by Gerald Warner Brace


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An utterly different novel from The Garretson Chronicle, and more in the mood of the author's earlier work, particularly The Islands. I suppose the title is a play on A Winter's Tale, but here is no contrast of light and shadow, no overhanging tragedy, but rather a sense of a mystical land and faerie folk, set in a modern world, with war on the distant horizon. An incredible story, as a Boston writer, rich and successful, is shipwrecked on uncharted islands off the coast of Maine, the August Islands, claimed as a kingdom apart, ruled over benevolently by a scion of the Bourbon line, to whose family it has been deeded by royal grant before the French Revolution. One son had regal aspirations and contacts with an unpleasant little group of queers, fascists all. The rest of the family, despite Boston connections, New England education, and limitless wealth, seem untouched by the hand of evil or corruption of civilization, left in virtually a state of naive goodness. Of course our hero, Tony, falls in love with beautiful June. The villain, Sam, who strikes to kill, causes some ripples in the romantic idyll. And the arrival of the U.S. Navy, intent on taking over the islands for manoeuvres and dispossessing the fisherfolk they expected to find there, brings a new threat. But Tony finds a way out-and the story ends with a wedding... There's a certain unworldly charm about it- Recommend to women who want to feel young again -- who want unsullied romance and escape. But an odd lack of humor which might have saved it from becoming cloying makes the book too unreal for even the delighted market for I Capture a Castle, which is the inevitable comparison.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1949
Publisher: Norton