GENESIS DOWN by Vian Smith


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The wilds of Dartmoor- in the late 1800's- provide a background for this story of changing farm life viewed through the struggle between two good men. Daniel Tamlyn is benevolent, but although he takes good care of his employees, two of his servants, Creddiford and Hannah, whom he had raised from the workhouse and the orphanage, rebel against a system which makes them little more than well cared for slaves. With the help of a craftsman, free-thinking Jethro, they run away and build a house for themselves in a day, and thereby gain the right to a little land of their own. A bitter struggle against the fury of villagers and farmers, weather and rocky soil ends in a truce of respect between Tamlyn and Creddiford, as well as a son and some success for the runaway couple. And when Tamlyn is finally ruined, the old man on his deathbed, chooses Creddiford as his successor. Brusquely told, this is deceptive as there is a real warmth of feeling. It is a sound, realistic novel which roughs in many of the elements of social change- violence, grief, acceptance.

Publisher: Doubleday