The Standing Hills

Caroline Stickland, Author St. Martin's Press $0 (208p) ISBN 978-0-312-00193-3
With Hardyesque overtones, the author of this compelling novel evokes the aura of rural, 19th century Dorset. The Delaford family rules the village of Sherborne. When young Samuel, the heir with a roving eye, returns from Oxford to take up the life of a gentleman-farmer, it is expected he will marry within his class, as it is expected that his beautiful sister Laura will marry a local lawyer, who, unaware of her passion for him, marries another. Samuel weds the intelligent milkmaid he seduced; Laura marries an attractively humanistic clergyman and must experience near-death in childbirth before she appreciates her husband. Stickland captures the poignant situation of women condemned to either procreation or spinsterhood, the hypocrisy of church-going villagers, the ironbound cleavage of the classes and the rumblings of challenge to Victorian mores and traditions. (March 24)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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