A Hoosier Chronicle has something for lovers of practically every novel genre except science fiction. Amazingly, Meridith Nicholson manages to blend romance, politics, mystery, philosophy, and history without compromising characterization.
Yale-educated Dan Harwood hand-delivers a letter to a math professor, which prompts the professor to take his granddaughter off to Indianapolis while he tries to raise money to send her to college.
The professor doesn’t know who Sylvia’s father was or if her parents were legally married. His friend “Aunt Sally” Owens, a feisty, rich old widow, says Sylvia is so promising that her background is no matter. She writes a check for Sylvia’s college expenses.
While Sylvia studies at Wellesley, Dan reports for The Courier and studies law. In his work he meets Morton Bassett, a rising state politician married to Aunt Sally’s neice. Though Bassett is rumored to be unscrupulous, Dan genuinely likes him.
When Morton offers him a job, Dan takes it. He thinks his moral principles enough to keep him from being co-opted if Bassett’s reputations turns out to be founded on fact.
Nicholon sets up the plot carefully. He makes all the things that you expect to happen, happen in surprising ways.
Dan is not as quick at unraveling Sylvia’s mysterious past as a shrewd lawyer should be, and the ending is too neat to be believable, yet not one of the 600+ pages of this novel is dull. Nicholson will keep you entertained and give you some ideas to chew on after you’ve finished reading.A Hoosier Chronicle
by Meredith Nicholson
with Illustrations by F. C. Yohn
Houghton Mifflin, 1912
Project Gutenberg EBook #15138