After World War I, young Terence Garth—wounded both in body and in soul—returns from France to the Western Kentucky farm of his wealthy uncle and benefactor. He learns that his uncle has recently married Isabel, a beautiful but disturbed woman, who is near to Terence’s own age. Despite their wishes to the contrary, the two young persons discover their mutual attraction intensifying, until they become involved in a headlong course leading to adultery, betrayal, deception, depression, alcoholism, and murder, as they find themselves reenacting a classic myth of condemned love and internal destruction.
My take on this book:
Terrence Garth also called Terry throughout the book was just returning home from France after serving a stint in the war, he spent some time in a hospital there suffering from a nervous breakdown. He is returning to his uncle Marcus' farm in Kentucky with the intentions of continuing his education after a few months respite.
Once he arrives at the farm, his uncle Marcus introduces him to his new wife Isabel,who is more Terry's age than Marcus', but tells Terry that it doesn't change the living arrangements and that he can stay at the farm as long as he likes, and encourages Terry to become friends with Isabel. With Marcus spending alot of his time at his law firm and the two alone in the house, soon they find themselves romantically involved. When rumors start spreading about the two, Marcus' foreman Josiah Sticks encourages Marcus to try and catch them in the act. While Marcus believes that Terry would never do such a thing to him, after all he took him in when his mother died and treated him like a son, providing everything he ever needed, as for Isabel, he has always worried about their age difference, but believes she would never betray him. The only way he will ever have peace is to do as Sticks suggests. So a plan is set in motion, and the answer he gets doesn't give him peace at all, but sets off a string of events that will affect the lives of several people for years to come.
This book was very hard to read, it needed a lot of editing, several instances of poor spelling and the misuse of words, really took away from a great story. That being said I still found the story intriguing, although it was slow to start once I got about a fourth of the way thru it really started to pick up and I became interested in the characters and how it would all work out.
The three main characters were each dealing with issues from their past, while Marcus and Isabel's issues were of their own making Terry's stemmed from childhood problems that he had no control over. On more than one occasion the story really surprised me, and the ending was something I would have never guessed.
If you can look past the editing, you will find a great story of adultery, depression, murder, gangsters, and a glimpse at the beginnings of prohibition, along with a love story where there are no happy endings.
Reviewed for ReadersFavorite.com