Catherine Cookson Desert Crop

ISBN 13: 9781551665832

Desert Crop

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Marrying Moira in the hopes that her expected inheritance will save the family farm, widower Hector sees his family fall apart when the inheritance falls through, a situation that is complicated by an act of senseless violence. Reprint.

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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

About the Author:

Catherine Cookson lived in Northumberland, England, the setting of many of her international bestsellers. Born in Tyne Dock, she was the illegitimate daughter of an impoverished woman, Kate, whom she was raised to believe was her older sister. She began to work in the civil service but eventually moved south to Hastings, where she met and married a local grammar school master.
Although she was originally acclaimed as a regional writer, in 1968 her novel The Round Tower won the Winifred Holtby Award, her readership quickly spread worldwide, and her many bestselling novels established her as one of the most popular contemporary authors. After receiving an OBE in 1985, Catherine Cookson was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1993. She died shortly before her ninety-second birthday, in June 1998, having completed 104 works.

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