CINNAMON SEED by Hamilton Basso


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The biographer of Beauregard turns to fiction in this fine novel of an old Louisiana family, and the conflict of the old traditions and the new civilization. The father, a fiery Southerner, living chiefly in the past and in the fervor of his quarrels with his daughter Olivia; the two daughters, Olivia, the eldest, and Ann, afraid of life and love; the son Carter, who lets the family down by taking into partnership the grandson of the overseer who had turned against them during the Civil War and betrayed the mistress of the plantation where he worked (this man is obviously intended to portray Huey Long); and Derrek, son of the wastrel younger brother, who had just killed himself when the story opens. The traditions of the Old South and the pull of the old place come down through Derrek, and the conflict comes when he tries to meet life on the same basis as his city-bred cousin, John. The plot is thin -- but the strength of the book lies in its depicting of a passing race, and the interplay of characters, and the impact of the new civilization on the old.

Pub Date: Feb. 16th, 1934
Publisher: Scribner