Frank Yerby had a smash hit with The Foxes of Harrow in 1946. The next year, he published a sequel, which also became a bestseller, even though The Vixens is even more awful than its predecessor.
The story is about ex-Union soldier Laird Fournois who returns to Louisiana hoping to get elected to the state legislature and make his fortune.
Laird meets the rich, unscrupulous Hugh Duncan and marries Hugh’s cousin Sabrina. Sabrina goes mad. Laird wants to be faithful, but succumbs to the charms of Denise Lascals, a sexy Creole who has loved him since childhood.
The dastardly Hugh has also fallen for Denise. Ultimately Hugh and Laird have to fight for their principles and Denise.
The totally unbelievable characters in this story fit perfectly in the totally unbelievable plot.
The interest in the novel is primarily in the historical background of the story. For example, at one point Laird goes looking for the polls whose locations whites move several times during the night to keep blacks from voting. That may not seem exciting, but compared to the story line, it’s hot stuff.
The Vixens is neither a good romance nor a good historical novel. It’s simply a bore.The Vixens By Frank Yerby Dial Press, 1947 #5 bestseller in 1947 My grade: D+