WANDERING OF DESIRE by Marion Montgomery


Email this review


This novel of life and changing times in Georgia is full of local scenery, characters; dialect and jokes, but the main story jumps around so in time- and in point of view- that it is difficult to follow. Roughly, there is Wash Mullis, once a shrewd youngster working in the sawmills who came to own the town and the land, and begot many children, legitimate and otherwise. Now Wash is old, and has but three sons and a Negro woman left. The woman gives birth to a child who may be the son of Wash's rival, Edward Blalock, the local veterinary. Doc Blalock, who wants to take over the land, turns to scientific farming and for a while succeeds. Wash continues to lose land and power, and two of his sons are killed; the third son castrates Blalock who eventually moves away. The land reverts again to pine barrens and ravaging coyotes.... This theme of the cycles of prosperity and decay, of the rivalries of men and their interlocking destinies, is interesting, and so are many of the sections that describe Wash-and the Doc- and their different ways of dealing with this wild, ingrown, backwoods country. But so much of the story moves sidewise, or backward, or is simply obscured in local color, that its total effect is somewhat confusing.

Publisher: Harper