Minor Characters Redeem David Corson

The Redemption of David Corson is about a backwoods youth who loses his faith that a loving God is making people progressively better.

Cover of The Redemption of David CorsonIn an Ohio valley, a stuttering patent medicine salesman and his teenage wife hear David Corson preach. Pepeeta is drawn to the message. The quack is drawn to David’s monetary value as a salesman.

After he hikes 20 miles to preach at an empty lumber camp, David decides being a shill for the quack and Pepeeta beats preaching.

Pepeeta’s awakened spiritual sense makes her resist David until, through bribery, he’s able to convince her that her first marriage was illegal.

As they flee, David kills the quack.

David’s morals continue to decline, Pepeeta’s continue to improve. Inevitably, they split.

Three years later, like the prodigal son, David goes home.

The summary sounds like a bad sermon, but Charles Frederic Goss’s characters — especially the minor characters — are intriguing mixes of flaws and virtues. Their actions arise from the interaction of heredity, upbringing, ignorance, immaturity, and choice.

The novel’s ending is just far enough from happily-ever-after to feel realistic while satisfying readers’ wishes for life to turn out OK.

The Redemption of David Corson
Charles Frederic Goss
1900 bestseller #7
Project Gutenberg eBook #14730
My grade B-

©2013 Linda Gorton Aragoni