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(1959) was a whale of a book, spanning three generations largely against a Santa Fe background. The pace of story flagged before the end, but it had impact. Now in Duncan has again used the Santa Fe background, but the story stems back only to 1930, and reviews the pattern of Solveing Skovgaard's sexual impact on any man she figures can forward her overwhelming ambition to be a successful writer. who makes a good living writing Westerns, tells the story- and his own humiliating and frustrating part in it. Solveig had won a trip to Santa Fe from her home in St. Croix on the basis of a group of poems submitted to a poetry magazine put out by rich, elderly Mrs. Kenwick. Pete falls for Solveig, melodramatic background and all-but refuses to write her autobiography for her. So she latches on to Gil Flagg- and wins laurels on a phony performance. Cynically, sardonically, Pete tears down the fabric of writing for a living but he cannot break the hold Solveig exerts-until he goes back to St. Croix and unearths the truth behind the bluster of her life. It's a cheap performance, the satire too broad for sustained interest, the interlarding of sex episodes too garnish- the whole an unpalatable performance for even hardened tastes.

Pub Date: July 10th, 1961
Publisher: Doubleday