THE HILL OF FORTUNE by Robert Wernick


Email this review


A 1935, 1940 and 1945 reflection of the same set of people breaks this novel of the Pawleys and the Sarabands into three panels. The earliest section concerns Sarah Saraband's first meeting with William, devious and brilliant at 14, his brother, Philip, a quieter, less flamboyant 13, their parents, aunts and grandfather, who spurs them on with his exciting, ribald stories; the middle episode tells of Philip's love for Sarah, William's buzz-saw but irresponsible means of re-charging the family fortunes and his education of Sarah; the last brings William and Philip home from World War II and Sarah's final decision between them. A series of emotional landscapes brought into focus by Sarah's touchy and fearful contacts with the family that changed her family's life, by the contrast between the two brothers and by the Pawleys eventual dependence on Sarah's Jewish family for the continuance of their financial safety, -- this is a sometimes angry, sometimes over-sensitized impression of a decade of personality conflicts. The impact here is less than his earlier The Freebooters (1949).

Pub Date: March 19th, 1951
Publisher: Scribner