As The Hounds of Spring opens, Cynthia Renner tells her Austrian-born husband she’s “not perfectly satisfied” with their children.
She fears they haven’t had enough disappointments to build character.
The Hounds of Spring by Sylvia Thompson
Little, Brown, 1926. 366 p. 1926 bestseller #4. My grade: A.
Colin Russell, the elder Renner daughter’s fiancé, enlists. Two months later, he’s on the front lines in France.
Colin and Zina plan to marry when he gets his first leave. Before then, Colin is declared missing, believed dead.
John Renner, his mother’s favorite child, joins the R.N.A.S. He is shot down over France.
Deadened by her loss and feeling her mother cared for more John than for her, in 1918 Zina marries a man she doesn’t love rather than face the future alone.
While Zina is on her honeymoon, her father intercepts a telegraph message for her: Colin is alive.
Sir Edgar goes to Paris immediately.
When he learns that Zina didn’t wait for his return, Colin says, “So this is war.”
Sylvia Thompson’s quietly stunning novel about an English family whose lives were soaked by the social and political sea changes of 1914-1924 deserves to be rediscovered and reread by a new generation.
©2016 Linda Gorton Aragoni