Valiants of Virginia Is Improved by Distractions

The Valiants of Virginia hooked me with its first paragraph:

Failed!” ejaculated John Valiant blankly, and the hat he held dropped to the claret-colored rug like a huge white splotch of sudden fright. “The Corporation—failed!”

Indeed, the company started by John’s father has failed.

John uses his private fortune to rectify what he can.  He’s broke when he receives a twenty-fifth  birthday gift of property in Virginia bequeathed to him by his father before his death 19 years before.

With no  family and nowhere else to go,  John heads south.

Damory Court has been vacant for 30 years since John’s father shot a man named Sassoon there, then lit out for New York. Locals believe there was a duel over a woman whose name was never revealed.

John falls in love with having a home and with a red-haired neighbor with whom he’d like to share it.

After providing an illustrated history of Proper Southern Behavior, novelist Hallie Erminie Rives brings about a happily-ever-after ending.

Instead of showing how John matures after that “white splotch of sudden fright,” Rives merely drops a synopsis of it on her way to the romantic stuff. Aside from one very funny scene in which local children play Sunday School, the rest of the novel i sn’t nearly as good as it opening paragraph.

The major characters, plot, and setting are so familiar they might have been ordered from a Sears Roebuck catalog.

I suggest you download the Valiants of Virginia to read when you’re home with a really bad cold. The novel is improved by the distraction of blowing one’s nose.

The Valiants of Virginia
by Hallie Erminie Rives (Mrs. Post Wheeler)
A. L. Burt, 1912
Illus by André Castaigne
1913 bestseller #9
Project Gutenberg E-Book #33963
 

© 2013 Linda Gorton Aragoni

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Linda Aragoni

I read. I write. I think. I make big ideas simple. I help teachers teach expository writing to teens and adults. In my free time, I read and review old novels.

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