The Carringtons of Helston

Malcolm MacDonald, Author
Malcolm MacDonald, Author St. Martin's Press $24.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-312-18552-7
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In this leisurely paced, congenial novel set on the eve of WWI, two young Americans leave their Connecticut home and move with their widowed father to their grandfather's Cornwall village, where their father, John Carrington, intends to buy a farm and take up gardening on a large scale. To the dismay of 22-year-old Leah Carrington and her 20-year-old brother, William, the Carringtons' eventual purchase of the Old Glebe stirs up past resentments and antagonisms with an eccentric, quarrelsome neighbor, farmer Clifford Liddicoat, whose family has long had an eye on the Old Glebe. As the consequences of a 60-year-old feud work their way through the narrative, so do the romances and careers of the American migr s. Leah soon has several suitors, including the two young Liddicoat brothers; she takes up farming and shows herself to be a feminist ahead of her time. Meanwhile, William discovers that the area is full of ruined tungsten mines and decides to open one of them, and John finds love again with an unlikely lady. Macdonald (Tomorrow's Tide) sprinkles his tale with credible historical details and Cornish colloquialisms, but he is at his best when writing straightforward narrative. For all its subplots and quaint village characters, the novel unfolds with a light enough touch to satisfy most readers of the genre. (June)
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