THE BIG IVY by James McCague


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Patently a first, presumably autobiographical novel of working on the railroad tapes the livelong (long, anyway) days of Jem Gandee who goes to work on the Ivy Line, a road which runs through the Indiana Valley. From the roundhouse to firing and up- Jem becomes a crack engineer- is successful with women too, the patient Bess and the less faithful Clara. Jem is Joined on the Ivy by Lee Wire, a kid from his home town, who falls in love with Bess and offers her a steadier future. There's a wreck- and Jem, for the first time afraid, thinks of quitting- but goes on to prove his worth when he takes a fast mail extra through for a record run- finds Bess still waiting for him.... Boomers and hoggers in their native habitat- from the cathouse to the beanery to the boxcar- but they wont have much of a passenger load.

Publisher: Crown