THE COVENANT by Paige Mitchell


Email this review


This takes place in the Mississippi of Love is Not a Safe Country -- where ""a Jew ain't nothin' but a nigger turned inside out"" and both are the victims in an open killing season which begins when an aging dentist (""born to make trouble,"" ""a goddamned white man workin' on nigger teeth"") is accused of molesting a youngster. The novel (which has been tagged as a ""Jewish Gone with the Wind"" might also remind you of Hurry Sundown, a crasser book, which also had GWTW aspirations) leads from the kind of strength you can't always divorce from sensationalism and follows from there the dynamiting of a rabbi's house with further incendiarism to follow. The story mostly belongs to Reuben Buchmann, a lawyer, who has already committed himself to the right side even if he can't hold his marriage together -- Mollie after nineteen years finds little left to keep her with Reuben -- and in between the stacked if not loaded action it worries a little over the unassimilable problem of being a Jew and a gentile and southern all in the same place. Paige Mitchell hasn't taken the cardboard out of the shirts of the characters who sometimes seem to be speaking through a megaphone but it won't matter. The novel has all the right go-mits and tie-ups starting out as a Literary Guild alternate and it is expected to do extremely well. Its buzz bomb readability factor cannot be gainsaid.

Pub Date: April 23rd, 1973
Publisher: Atheneum