MORNING AT JALNA by Mazo de la Roche

MORNING AT JALNA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

For fanciers of the Jalna saga it's back to the 1860's with Philip and Adeline Whiteoak. Their placid Canadian home is unsullied by the strife of the American Civil War until the gallant but impoverished Sinclairs come to live at Jalna. In short order we learn that Curtis Sinclair is a Confederate agent and Lucy, his delicate wife, is the charming but helpless Southern belle incarnate. It's a rocky year at Jalna, what with the neighbors feeling a bit grim about Philip harboring a Confederate agent, Yankee spies tramping through the underbrush and bad blood betwixt a half-breed Indian and a Negro slave. Finally Rebel Sinclair steals away on a guerrilla mission and is temporarily captured by ""Monster"" Lincoln's brigands. There follow several healthy-growing-up scenes with the Whiteoak children and then an abortive attempt to send Lucy Sinclair and entourage back to her rescued husband and ravished plantation. A second attempt is successful, and this installment ends on a tenuous query: What will happen to the three runaway Whiteoak children who are sailing the Great Lakes in an unidentified dinghy? However cliche the meandering plot, it is skillful and harmless story-telling for that abiding audience.

Publisher: Little, Brown-A.M.P.