THE WIDOWS OF THORNTON by Peter Taylor

THE WIDOWS OF THORNTON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A series of vignettes affirms once again a fresh, individualistic talent which is part of a regional revival but which feeds on the attrition of that part of the country from which it derives. For these short stories have a continuity not only in their locale, which is a deadspot, Thornton, Tennessee-but in their common perspective which has its fullest expression in the closing piece when Sylvia, whose husband has died, is planning her final return to Thornton. For it is she who recognizes that while the men of her generation have moved on and away, their women still ""lived as widows clinging to things the men would never come back to and from which they could not free themselves"". And so here is the obsolescent world of Thornton, its family heirlooms and portraits, its sere gentility and indestructible snobbery which survive in these sequences of two ladies in retirement, of a querulous old man, of Negroes proud in their devoted servitude, of a marriage limned by loneliness, etc. ... Peter Taylor may be remembered for his A Woman of Means which had an appreciative press which is again likely here- but a market is more difficult to gauge.

Pub Date: May 3rd, 1954
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace