HOMEWARD BORNE by Ruth Chatterton


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One really good idea here -- among the others on display --that of taking a foster child from those who had known the concentration camps of Europe, which brings to mind the play Tomorrow The World although here the angle differs. But the boy's story is interrupted, played down, for the story of the woman, Pax, who took him into her Vermont home, Pax, to make good her failure all her life to stand up for her beliefs, takes Polish Jan, about 11, while her husband Bob is still in Germany in the Air Force. She keeps the possibility of his being Jewish secret, tries to cope with the lethal repayment Jan makes for slights, gives him affection but not love -- as do her son Tubs and her maid, Pansy. Pax bundles Jan off to a boys' school when Bob has an accident and she decides to join him but when she learns Bob doesn't want her to come over, Jan is kept away. He learns the cruelty of contemporaries, the prejudice against Jews, finally runs home --only to find Bob in residence. A Bob whose new hatred for Jews and Negroes is violent, a Bob whose baiting of the small boy ends in Jan's attempt to suicide. This is the point on which Pax comes to herself -- sending Bob off for a divorce, keeping Jan for herself. This would have been a really good story if it were not for the somewhat unsympathetic qualities of Pax, the submergence of deeper insight into Jan. Try the market for Gentlemen's Agreement for this newcomer.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster