A TRACE OF FOOTPRINTS by Ruth Wolff

A TRACE OF FOOTPRINTS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The title spore can be identified as the tracks of genus Goodbye Mr. Chips, successfully translated to small-town America. Ruth Wolff's previous novels, I, Keturah, (1963) and A Crack in the Sidewalk (1965), have been successful in YA collections and this book should be too. The predictability of the form does not detract from the reader entertainment inherent in following retired teacher Mr. Sam through his old-fashioned neighborhood, meeting and greeting old friends, whose ages go from the appealing pre-reader next door to the sick old harridan across the way. It's a whole mini-world of characters and blends their stories--some grim, some amusing, all as interesting as gossip overheard. The presence of Mr. Sam's young grandson, hiding out from a marriage he wants to make work and putting off his eventual decision to become a teacher like his admirable grandfather, provides some added appeal for young people. Mr. Sam's realistic efforts right up to his death to put Christian principles to work in his daily life is more often something satirized rather than dignified in current fiction. This factor in the book forecasts a Protestant book store market for a slow, satisfying familiar novel with assured library acceptance.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1967
Publisher: Putnam