BERT BREEN'S BARN by Walter D. Edmonds


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Tom Dolan is determined, and according to the cards destined, to turn round the fortunes of his no-account ancestors and does so via an old barn he purchases and moves to his mother's property. While this plan takes shape, with encouragement from an old codger named Birdy, Tom works in the local grist mill for 25¢ a day. Saving enough money to buy a barn is slow work under the circumstances and, once the project really gets started, he outwaits as well as outwits the spit-nasty Flancher brother to get the hoard of money that turns out to be hidden in the run-down building. That Tom is destined for and deserving of success is never questioned, and by any standards this story takes its own good time. Yet its attraction lies in the very smallness of his first step up to respectability and the leisurely, affectionate depiction of early 20th century rural characters and institutions. The kind of speculation that grows up around the town recluse and her probable fortune, the ins and outs of country real estate dealing, the sort (and quantity) of food provided for a barn raising--each gets Emonds' full attention, and together they lend this rough cut Horatio Alger chronicle a quiet authenticity.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1975
ISBN: 0815602553
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Little, Brown