SALVATION JOHNNY by Natalie Anderson Scott


Email this review


This strikes a positive note in contrast to the successive novels of abnormal obsession plus possession (whether the ""possession"" is a family relationship, an abnormal husband-wife relationship, alcohol or sex). For here Natalie Scott has written an old-fashioned story of family life at the heart of the Salvation Army. Johnny was the youngest son in a dedicated family; his parents were in command of an important new York City corps, and through its doors all sorts and conditions of men- and women- passed. One learns the inside story of the techniques, the mechanics of salvation -- and learns it in human terms of the riffraff saved, the desperate redeemed, the soldiers and officers of the corps committed increasingly to their chosen vocations. It is a very sympathetic portrait of a unique way of life. Unfortunately the archaic style, the repetitive descriptive adjectives grow tiresome. And the end impression is rather that of a social document than of a novel, so slight the thread of story, so insistent the emphasis on the sweetness and light aspects of the Army. But somehow it strikes a chord in the reader. I know this reader will always look with greater respect on the street bands and the petitioners than in the past.

Publisher: Doubleday