THE GREEN GAUNTLET by R. F. Delderfield


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No swinging pendulums for Mr. Delderfield and his readers, who haven't been tempted to England's bucolic meadows and oaks since the days of Mrs. Miniver. This time Paul Craddock, Squire of Shallowford, holds his ground against bulldozers and the new ignoble breed, while squiring through World War II and tracking the several paths of his various children in the new era. Bombs, destruction muddled through, a captured German and family problems, lovingly nudged by his wife Claire sum up World War II. The twins, Andy and Steven, love the same woman who bears a child to the wrong man, but fate happily intervenes with a convenient death; a wandering elder son finds a woman and happiness; and a profiteering wastrel sells part of the old homestead from under, indirectly causing the death of Claire. A family saga, neat and tidy as an antimacassar, in which you know that any gull flying over the landscape in paragraph I is sure to reappear decades later on the last page. For the readership which enjoyed A Horseman Riding By (1967), this continuation and end of the career of Paul Craddock has all the soothing and familiar properties of a hot water bottle--an illusion of sustained heat.

Pub Date: Aug. 29th, 1968
Publisher: Simon & Schuster