SATURDAY CITY by Jan Webster


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This doughty Glasgow family saga (Colliers Row, 1977) now rumbles solidly on into the 20th century, picking up singles and dropping them off in pairs or winding sheets--or to other shores. Happily the author doesn't linger over the past of Colliers Row, but hops it into the next stages of conflict. Duncan, more of a workhorse than a firebrand, plows tirelessly on in his mission to form and consolidate a miners' union, trying to hold off extremists on both sides. He'll nobly refuse to compromise his principles, even when his brother-in-law (unhappily) owns and (reluctantly) operates the local mine. And Duncan will tilt with other capitalists and Tories within his own upwardly mobile family, while gaunt loyal wife Josie tends to the hearth and the poor. Josie must also put up with infidelity: Kirsten, who toils with Duncan's daughter in the women's suffrage movement, wins Duncan's love and bears him a son. Within the clan there are love matches, marital storms, a divorce, sad deaths, and industrial and political careers. But the central story is Duncan's and later that of his more bitter counterpart, his ""radicalized"" nephew Donald, who will be rescued from death in revolutionary Russia by the woman who loves him. A sturdy, even effort; for the tribal gossip buffs, 'tis reliable as rain in Glasgow.

Pub Date: March 30th, 1979
Publisher: St. Martin's