BRIGHT PROCESSION by John Sedges

BRIGHT PROCESSION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Possibly this has a message of hope for those who want assurance that there is a positive pattern of good in the world to offset the evil. For such is the message left at the story's end, and the last quarter of the book revolves around a Foundation established to prove that such a power of good can be organized and thereby strengthened.... To reach this culmination, the reader follows the story of Stephen, who thought he had grown away from his saintly father's faith and the manse in a small Pennsylvania town where he had been brought up. He thought, too, he had outgrown Mary, the girl he had once planned to marry, when he turns to sophisticated Jane, with her brilliance, her flash, and her depth of unhappiness below the surface. Jane's suicide-after the birth of twins- is profoundly shocking, and he goes to Europe for five years- and then returns, saddened by the world's tragedy, to take up his role of father. A difficult one, with twins so unlike:- Steve is a nunchback, frail, sensitive, groping towards a core of inner strength, even as a child; Jan is violent, aggressive, cruel- and grows up to the middle teens, feeling that he is facing war- so why bother. Then Stephen learns that Jane had an illegitimate daughter; he and Mary seek her out- and when they find her, realize that they belong together- all of them. And as his life straightens out, Stephen turns from the successful pursuit of money, seeks another role- and expression of the faith that upheld his father- and finds it in the management of the Foundation- ""the Company of the Good"". A sentimental twist, perhaps, for a story symbolic of the forces at odds in the world today. It doesn't cut much below the surface; the characters are stock figures, the situations contrived, but the whole will bring to some a heartening faith they need.... ""John Sedges"" more in the mood of The Long Love, perhaps, than of the memorable The Townsman.

Pub Date: March 6th, 1952
Publisher: John Day