RITES OF SUMMER by Robert P. Hansen


Email this review


Robert Hansen is the author of a number of mysteries. This novel is considerably more ambitious than his earlier work and it is a well-written, vital book. Set in Kentucky in the present, the story focuses on the fates of two families -- the Parsons and the Yosts, small farmers fighting a losing battle against industrial ""progress"". The two families, related by marriage, are drawn together by the death of Virge Parsons, a man of no visible accomplishments who devoted himself to his fiddle and thereby, other people's pleasure. There are two main events in the story:-the guilty love affair between Parson's daughter, Ruth and his adopted son Tom, interrupted by a number of years and brought to a climax at the funeral; and Bill Yost's antagonism toward his father and his general disappointment in life which culminates in his attack upon the older man and his own death. But this final tragedy is tempered by the fact that Ruth and Tom have decided to marry, leaving Fox Creek, and Virge Parson's land as a symbol of resistance to the new order.

Pub Date: May 24th, 1961
Publisher: Morrow