WILD IS THE RIVER by Louis Bromfield


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This has the earmarks of a ten strike from the angle of sheer story appeal, -- romance, adventure, an American setting with unique ingredients for a skilled craftsman. Bromfield has taken advantage of every facet presented by his material:- New Orleans, after its capitulation to the North, but utterly with the Confederacy at heart, and hating its nonquerors with all the strength of its decadent, rotten dilettantism; the plantations along the Louisiana ayous and the Delta; and -- for sharp contrast -- Boston drawing rooms, Mississippi river bottom land, jungles. Against this setting is told the incredible story of a New England Don Juan, strutting his stuff as member of the staff of a gluttonous governor general (and his obnoxious wife), and of the gently reared New England girl, his fiances, who defies the gossips and with her feminist aunt, sets forth for New Orleans, ostensibly to visit her uncle, the governor. Mad misadventures en route snap her into maturity, and -- on arrival -- she finds that her emotions have been sadly misplaced, her trust betrayed, while her hero sets his passion for a Madame against his ardor for the foreign-born widow in whose house he is quartered. Enter a very gentle, parfait knight, a Southerner with the spirit of a pioneer -- and after more adventures, murder, plague, death by violence, true love finds a way. Exciting reading, a better integrated story than The Rain Came, but -- in its details, distasteful for the fastidious palate, distressing in its sordid sensuality, too often unnecessary to the pattern of the tale. Furthermore, Bromfield, usually a sound craftsman, has contented himself with some inexcusably lipahod writing. Public libraries 'ware for conservatives...... Book sure of fanfare of popularity. Ran serially in Cosmopolitan.

Pub Date: Nov. 19th, 1941
Publisher: Harper