The Red Planet is a memoir narrated by Duncan Meredyth, a widowed Boer War veteran living in a small English country village in 1914. Duncan is cared for my his ex-sergeant who was disfigured in the same shell blast that took Duncan’s legs.
The Red Planet by William J. Locke
1917 bestseller #3. Project Gutenberg eBook #4287. My grade: A-.
As friend to his peers and “Uncle” to local young people, Duncan gets to know nearly every thing that happens in Willingsford.
As the story opens, Duncan’s neighbors, the Fenimores, learn their son has been killed in France.
Less than a year earlier their daughter had drowned.
No one had asked aloud why Althea was on the tow-path at midnight.
While Fenimores mourn, Duncan learns Betty Fairfax, who had been engaged to the heroic Major Leonard Boyce, is going to marry Capt. Willie Connor, whom Duncan thinks a nonentity.
Duncan is also surprised to see upper-crust Randall Holmes with his arm around Phyllis Gedge, daughter of a socialist builder.
As Duncan hears village gossip, observes who is with whom, and puts two and two together, William J. Locke develops and redevelops the novel’s characters.
By turns funny, morose, sympathetic, and dogmatic, Duncan always seems like a real person whose opinions on patriotism, heroism, and human nature need to be taken seriously.
©2017 Linda Gorton Aragoni