CIRCUMSTANCE by William M. John
Kirkus Star


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Watch it. For sheer power and drama and realism, this novel stands heads and shoulders above the average. Not for every reader:- those who want silver linings to their clouds wont like it; those who dodge tragedy, virtually unrelieved, wont like it; those who want sex exalted or forgotten wont like it. It is a story set in a steel and coal city in Pennsylvania. The text is ""My faults are those of circumstance."" The three characters around whom the story pivots are Kirt Ralston, pillar of society, who sinned in youth with a servant girl, the second main character, with -- unknown to Kirt -- result in a son, the third figure. With forceful strokes the tragedy of circumstances is driven home, the final curtain dropping on that rare thing, a natural tragedy. Not a waste gesture, not a waste word. There is no wilfully wicked nor mean person in the book. What happens is what must happen. There is throughout an appalling sense of familiarity in the very realness of the telling. An important book -- the author has not only a future but a present.

Pub Date: Nov. 6th, 1935
Publisher: Macmillan