THE SPARKS FLY UPWARD by James Ronald

THE SPARKS FLY UPWARD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A continuation and sequel to Man Born Of Woman (Lippincott-1951), this brings Quentin Gourlay through his Glasgow schooling, his climb out of the slums (which inspires his devoted uncle to defy his miserable life) and his reunion with his father, Hamish, whose dedication to and absorption in painting make sense to his unwanted son. Quentin, having proved he can stand on his own, heads for the United States, winds up in the red light section of prohibition Chicago, rounds from commercial art to cheap publishing, to little theatre and an older mistress, hits the skids and is pulled up by the death of his father. Back in England again, he fights for the possession of the pictures his father willed him, once more meets his ogre aunt who had high-handedly discarded him, is taken in by her determination to be top dog, is the witness of her eventual defeat and turus his inheritance -- the now invaluable pictures -- into a national gift. This leaves him still a young man in search of himself (to be continued?). There's a sort of interminable, long winded quality here which is aucliorated by its compassion and sense of small human dramas along the way that may appeal to his earlier, to a patient, audience.

Pub Date: May 4th, 1953
Publisher: Messner