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In the main an effective novel of a Canadian family during and after the war- in which, through the conflicts within the family circle, many of the issues that we scarcely recognize are aired. What do Canadians think of Americans below the line? It is not a flattering picture, but an enlightening one. The central character, Gregory Rolph, writer, middle of the road liberal, jousts with windmills until his powerful capitalist enemy uses a petty form of blackmail to silence him. His is a personality in conflict. The Ralph household seems a united one -- but Jane is a Puritan, and Gregory tries to think that his love affair in New York cannot hurt her, and finds out too late that it hurts them both. Peter, the oldest son, learns -- in his years overseas -- that the physical side of has a tremendous hold on him, in the person of Paula -- and it takes some painful adjustment back home before he realizes that in Peg he gains something more. The characters of the men emerge convincingly; but the women -- ah me -""when they are good they are very very good, and when they are bad they are horrid"". All black and white; no greys....A far cry from Dr. Hardy's earlier stories against an Old Testament background. Some conservatives will feel a monotony that is distasteful in recurrent bedroom scenes.

Pub Date: March 12th, 1952
Publisher: Appleton-Century-Crofts