STEP DOWN, ELDER BROTHER by Josephina Niggli
Kirkus Star


Email this review


A refreshingly different sort of book, in that it has a contemporary feel of modern Mexico, pace and story that catches the American rhythm, while at the same time the mood and psychology, atmosphere and plot values, are inescapably Latin- and Mexican. The scene is Monterrey, and the Vasquez de Anda family is the center of the story:- the father, who rules his children, but knuckles under to his brother; the mother, quietly strong, helping where needed, supporting their revolts; Domingo, the eldest, caught in the web of the habit of accepting family dictates (he ate his heart out over an American girl who was not acceptable to them); Cardito, the youngest, over whom Domingo exercises loving tyranny; Sofia, alone successful in revolt; and Brunhilda, faker, who is supported in her cheating by the hated uncle. Domingo falls in love again, and again with a girl who is a problem to his austerely conforming mind; he refuses at the end, to out his Mexican lifeline for her- and chooses instead to take over the responsibility of making a true Mexican of the baby son of the rebellious self-centered Cardito. Intricate web of family traditions at odds with the spirit of the new generation in an absorbing story. Much better integrated than Mexican Village.

Pub Date: Jan. 22nd, 1948
Publisher: Rinehart