THE FEAST OF JULY by H. E. Bates

THE FEAST OF JULY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A love story derives from a traditional situation and humbler circumstances, in rural England, when Bella Ford, a young girl, is left- after a summer romance- with a string of beads, a pair of shoes, and a baby which she aborts on the road as she goes to find her lover. Taken in by the Wainwrights, in the simple shoe town of Nenweald, she is nursed back to health and her hatred of Arch Wilson is soothed by the love of the three Wainwright boys; Jedd, a soldier, who offers a jovial, teasing affection; Matt, shy and serious, who makes her a pair of shoes with buckles; and Con, intense and hot-blooded, with whom she falls in love when spring follows a bleak winter of cold and famine. Their love reaches its acknowledgement with Feast Sunday, in July, but it is threatened by an old fear and an old hate when Arch Wilson reappears, and Con kills him. They run away together- for a few days- until Con goes to give himself up and is brought to trial; Bella is left to wait for his release- after a ten year sentence- but with the reassuring serenity of the child she will bear him.... H. E. Bates, always a scrupulous and reticent stylist, bring a certain charm and tender mercy to a simple tale of simple people.

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 1954
Publisher: Little, Brown- A.M.P.