HOPE OF EARTH by Margaret Lee Runbeck


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This is a book on which the publishers are building largely, feeling that they have a book for mass distribution, far exceeding anything Margaret Runbeck has previously attained. Maybe so- it might be defined as a candidate for the Grace Livingston Hill market, brought up to relatively modern specifications by a fairly lusty frontier flavor. But even the readily shockable will feel that the moral is so all-pervasive that the concessions to animal passions (mostly overruled by the powerful strength of the spiritual nature) merely supply the antidote to too much sweetness and light. As a story, there are ample ingredients for a sure best seller to those thousands who demand romance and action in terms of human emotions. The story revolves around a marriage in which Stephen, the hero, born to a silver spoon, finds that he can't sustain the hero poses when stripped of everything, and deposited in a mud flat in Illinois where he had assumed that the property he owned was part of the gaudily depicted (non-existent) thriving community. It is Amoret, child bride, treated like a delicate flower, who grows to full maturity under adversity. She makes their wilderness home a place where the vision of America, willed them by old Tobias, comes to reality. Stephen's unwillingness to face the truth almost wrecks not only their livelihood, but their marriage and their place in the community. And Joe Adams, symbol of the pioneer evangelist, fans the spark of understanding dormant in Amoret, but refuses the offer of its physical complement. Lots of story here- and a strong idealism. Not a picture of routine building of the frontier, but typical of the growth of our frontier towns.

Pub Date: Sept. 16th, 1947
ISBN: 054844109X
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin