THE SUMMER HOUSES by James Stevenson
Kirkus Star


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A delightful and deceptively light touch makes an imaginative and sensitive social comment in this tale of an established ""old family"" summer resort which is isrupted by an unsympathetic, alien intrusion. The summer at Great Heron Island was in full swing -- the Horner house bulged with singing, imbibing guests; Ellsworth oogan expansively planned his son-in-law's future; orphaned, miserably adolescent ifford plunged into historical Island minutiae and dreamt of girls; one husband pursued another man's wife; an elderly couple ruefully reminisced; old Mr. Mooney wondered why all the wrong people had the money these days; and gay shouts sounded from the roquet court. A storm brings a surprise visitor, one Maynard McKinney, who, in the same of his powerful employer, begins with ruthless, irresistible skill and persistence to buy up all the property on the Island. Some of the families succumb to money, the ounger families to the lure of change, and others to suggestion, but soon the bulldozers crash into being and the nightmare materializes. The traditional croquet tournament is literally smashed to bits as machines rip up the lawn; a harmless, mentally ill houseowner is cruelly packed off; schisms develop and a meeting is held to ward off inevitable defeat. At the last the Island is saved when McKinney is found to be an experienced swindler and all the deals are off. However, there will be scars and a certain desperation in the urging to ""keep the tournament moving"". Effective atmosphere, character and at times high humor. Civilized and satisfying.

Pub Date: April 8th, 1963
Publisher: Macmillan