KING'S ROW by Henry Bellaman
Kirkus Star


Email this review


King's Row, a mid western town, not very far from St. Louis, at the turn of the century, is the ""villain of the piece"", the real protagonist of a first rate story. There are two novels this season to which this bears analogy:- E. Arnot Robertson's Summer's Lease, which is also a study of adolescence, and of the effect of environment on a sensitive growing boy, and Harold Sinclair's The Years of Growth, another study of a developing town. I liked King's Row much better than either. There is a holding quality to the telling, that keeps one concentrated on the progress of incident and character beyond what -- in retrospect -- one feels it fully warrants. The town, has perhaps, more than its allotment of abnormality; there are figures that fascinate and repel at the same time, there are psychological and physiological aberrations, inherent in characters that have offsetting traits of fineness and generosity. There are some grand characters, -- the staunch grandmother, the Colonel and his wife, the old priest and the German pastor whose music proved his downfall. And there are the young people growing up, Parris, with the study of psychiatry as a goal, himself in need of emotional release, Drake -- and the girls whose lives were closely linked with theirs. Sheer readability should make this easy selling.

Pub Date: April 16th, 1940
Publisher: Simon & Schuster