D RIVER by Henrietta Buckmaster
Kirkus Star


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An unusual novel presenting, from a new angle, those harried years leading up to Secession, with forces in conflict within the very states that presented an outwardly united front. Out of thorough and scholarly grounding in the subject of the Underground (evidenced in her book, Let My People Go) Miss Buckmaster has written a novel of Georgia between 1859 and Secession, with her central character, Simon Bliss, a composite of those many leaders of the anti-slavery group who dared risk the power of the monied minority, the rich slave owners. Simon Bliss was a mountain man; he took as wife a gently reared girl from a lowland plantation -- Savanna -- who had to learn mountain ways, who had to harness her love for her husband to better understanding of values as he measured them. Headstrong, restive, she fought him and his people - but love and an honest identity of ideals won, and Savanna fought at his side during the months he served his state -- and the Union -- at Milledgeville, in Athens, wherever his principles could govern his actions, wherever his faith in the Jeffersonian principles could dominate. Miss Buckmaster has given pace and interest to troubled, confusing political issues; her human drama, her relation between whites and blacks, her picture of the issues at stake are better done, perhaps, than her psychological aspects in the relations between Savanna and Simon. But it is a holding tale, beautifully told, and well worth reading. It fits into the current interest in the Negro problem.

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace