THE WATERS UNDER THE EARTH by John Moore

THE WATERS UNDER THE EARTH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

John Moore has written some pleasant minor novels (such as September Moon) and memoirs of English country life (such as Brensham Village). This is his most expansive novel as well as the major novel on this publisher's list and it is softly landscaped from start to finish. Rural England, more particularly an old estate-Doddington Manor, frames the story like a box hedge and is all affectionately detailed trees and flowers, birds and squirrels, horses and of course hounds. The story itself a little slow to start, begins in 1950 when Susan, the only child of the Seldons of the Manor, is eighteen, and the Fenton family (he's the new gardener) comes to live there. Susan then is very much overwhelmed by her cousin Tony, who will shortly be sent overseas to Korea where he will become a P.O.W. The changing temper of the times, political and social, are reflected through the personal story--Tony returns and although his wealth assures the survival of Doddington, there are false touches and Jarring limitations which alienate Susan. And her love for one of the Fentons, whom her mother would have called the ""'gardener's son"" will be the final equalizer.... Yet England, forever, England, changing but somehow integrating past and present, is almost a stronger presence than any of the characters actually engaged here. It is a tranquil traditional book, agreeable to read and certain to meet with the approval of many people who are out of sorts and patience with the novel of the '60's.

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 1965
Publisher: Lippincott