HARVEST HOME by Thomas Tryon


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Another Other? In intention, certainly, although who's to say why the ensorcellment doesn't really work since the intentions are the same with more of the same locus hocus pocus -- New England, a still more rustic and insular (incredibly isolated and protected) New England which lives back there and then in the times of witchcraft and ritual and charms and spells while the blood red harvest moon of ""No Repentance"" shines on this little community during the summer which begins with Agnes Fair and continues through Kindlin' Night when they burn the scarecrows. Ned, a former advertising man, and Beth, his wife, and their, regretfully, only daughter Kate who is highly, critically asthmatic, move to Cornwall Coombe where they become absorbed in the folkways -- particularly after the Widow Fortune quickly puts a stop to one of Kate's seizures with one of her home remedies. She seems very instrumental everywhere, assuring Beth that she will become pregnant again which she believes she has, or taking care of the poor man whom the natives have relieved of his tongue (cut it off). And what of the suicide (murder?) some fifteen years ago, or the alluring Tamar Penrose, all prefatory to the Harvest Home spectacle. Mr. Tryon's story seems not only tethered to considerable earlier Americana but sometimes garroted by it -- there's too much corn to husk before the last loaded third of the book. But they say it's been born with a caul -- not only the success of the first but publisher enthusiasm now as well as selection by the Literary Guild.

Pub Date: June 18th, 1973
Publisher: Knopf