HAUNTED HACIENDA by Madison Cooper


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Quite a different type of book from Sironia, Texas -- in that the conflict is perhaps more internal than external. But again, Madison Cooper has bisected a Texas town, Plaza, in the days when the railroad had passed it by and stagecoach service was its one contact with the burgeoning world of San Antonio, and when cattle was king. Guido Celli, American born of Italian parentage, has been shipped off from Chicago because of a youthful escapade with a married woman, Pla, his father's ward. Shattered by the experience, taking full blame on himself, Guido needs the growing up process to which he is exposed when he stops over in Texas, ostensibly to see to his father's cattle interests, and stays on, captive of the lure of the region. He finds himself caught in the cross currents of an ancient grudge, of violence and passion in the past, of plottings on the part of the Cullodens and the Spires to prevent the marriage of Gene Culloden and Cherry Spire without bringing to light a buried scandal in the past. The Latin viewpoint on sex comes sharply up against some deep-rooted Baptist inhibitions, and there are plenty of episodes, superficially and casually handled, which might cause the conservatives pause. And throughout, Guido battles his own particular devils, until- when Pla makes an unexpected descent on Plaza, he finds that youth has its own measure of recovery. An inconclusive finale leaves a good many loose ends.

Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 1955
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin