The DESERT CROP: A NOVEL
AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
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AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
Titel: The DESERT CROP: A NOVEL
Verlag: Simon & Schuster
Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included
Auflage: 1st Edition
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Shocking tragedy unexpectedly frees a young man to pursue the love and happiness he thought were unattainable in this family saga by Catherine Cookson, who remains even after her death one of the world's best loved historical novelists.
Money was tight in the fanning communities around Fellburn, England, in the 1880s, so when Hector Stewart, only two years after the death of his long-suffering wife, announces to his children, Daniel and Pattie, that he is to marry Moira Conelly, a "wealthy" distant relative who lives in "a castle" in Ireland, it is easy to discern his motive. As for Moira, who had not been entirely honest about her background or finances, she has convinced herself that she would be marrying into landed gentry, allowing her the leisured lifestyle to which she believes herself entitled. It is with sonic surprise, therefore, after she arrives with her companion, Maggie Ann, that she realizes she is now the mistress of a ramshackle farm without any servants. Nonetheless, with her ever-cheerful disposition, Moira soon settles into the Stewart family routine.
Pattie, always the rebel, leaves home to be married, but Daniel, deprived of an opportunity to study at university by his father's insistence that he stay on the farm, can see no escape. Moira and Hector's marriage of convenience works well enough at first, but as their growing family compounds their financial difficulties, Hector's behavior toward her changes disturbingly. A horrifying act of violence provokes an even more shocking act of retribution in the family.
Yet, this tragedy opens the way for Daniel to expand his horizons and to find the love and joy that have long been denied him.
Set in Catherine Cookson's now familiar area of northeast England, Fellburn and its surroundings, this deeply felt novel of family conflict will be admired as one of the most powerful Cookson wrote in a career that spanned more that forty years.Review:
When English widower Hector Stewart takes a new Irish wife, his children, Daniel and Pattie, have considerable reservations. Their stepmother, Moira, has foreign habits, strange manners, and a brash maid named Maggie Ann. But as Hector becomes increasingly belligerent, Moira, Daniel, and Pattie bond together against his wicked tempers. Unable to withstand the growing tensions, Pattie leaves the farm and advises Daniel to join her. Though Moira bears numerous children, Hector continues to waste his money on drinking and whoring and earns the well-deserved hatred of the rest of his family.
Dwindling fortunes and a well-nurtured Oedipus complex accelerate the rivalries between son and father until a fatal "accident" removes the evil Hector. Daniel falls in love with the beautiful but shallow Frances and remains blind to the allure of the plain but reliable Janie. Burdened with the responsibility of Moira and her seven children, Daniel is unable to successfully woo Frances. Bound to the farm and the family, it looks as if Daniel may spend his life caring for everyone but himself.
Bestselling author Catherine Cookson uses her masterful knowledge of 19th-century English life to flesh out the setting of this classic contrast between familial duty and self-interest. While some readers may find Cookson's deliberate pace and ingenuous themes at times frustrating, others seek out her work for just this type of insight into human relations. --Nancy R.E. O'Brien
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