||BOOK REVIEW DIGEST
BENSON, EDWARD FREDERIC.
Autumn sowing. $1.35 (1 1/2c) Doran 18-1224
Mr Keeling, a virile and
prosperous business man of fifty, of strong Puritan principles, and well-respected
in his community, begins at
the height of his success and
prosperity, to feel a sense of dissatisfaction. He has an expensive
home, ugly tho grandly furnished,
three grownup children, none
of them distinguished by any unusual quality, and a sluggish wife, who
is a garrulous disconnected talker, and inclined to be snobbish.
In these he finds no companionship, nothing to appease a vague hunger that
has arisen in him. He has, however, his "secret garden," which is
his silent name for his library, crowded with beautiful, expensive books.
Here he spends his leisure happily. But even here he is lonely.
Just as he grows conscious of his vague hunger, he secures a highly efficient
young woman as secretary. She too is fond of books, and, very gradually,
begins unknowingly to mean to him the companionship he needs so badly.
She, on her part, at first dislikes him with an intense contempt for his
caddish qualities. This feeling changes into admiration, then into
a pure and glowing love, rushing headlong into a passionate alliance, they
brush aside the possibility of "what might have been.."
The girl goes away to London,
he plunges deeply into work, each keeping of the other an unsullied memory.
Despite the looseness of its
structure, its discursiveness and its sketchy interpretation of even its
most important characters, "An Autumn
Sowing" is by far the best of
Mr Benson.s recent social studies. It is doubtful if he has written
anything to equal it since "Sheaves." In fact,
he may be congratulated upon
approaching somewhat near to the best that is in him as a writer of novels
and as an interpreter of character." E.F.E.
Boston Transcript p8 Ap24 '18
"On the whole, it is an impression
of deftness, of skilled craftsmanship, which is the dominating one given
by this agreeable novel - a quiet,
sometimes appealing, sometimes
humorous story, smoothly written, very well-bred, never particularly moving,
perhaps, but always interesting."
N Y Times 23:146 Ap 7 '18 750w
"Mr. Benson's new novel is a proof
of his industry and versatility without revealing the qualities which have
won him his most resounding popularity.
It is rather the effort of a
capable craftsman to deal with types with which he is only in imperfect
Spec 119:603 N 24 '17 650w
"An autumn sowing. is one of Mr
Benson.s characteristically clever, entertaining novels, quiet in action
and atmosphere, but with frequent
flashes of dry humor and satire
that add zest to the reader.s pleasure."
Springfield Republican p15 My
26 '18 600 w
[Other reviews: ALA Bkl
14:300 Je '18 ~ Ath p16 Ja '18 50w ~ Cleveland
p77 Jl '18 50w ~ The Times [London]
Lit Sup p554 N 15 '17 450w ]