“Deep Summer” - 1937
“Handsome Road” - 1938
“This Side of Glory” - 1940
One of my favourite stories about the Deep South ever. If you work your way through this trilogy, you go form the first settlers in the 1700s until the early year of the last century. You follow the trail of the protagonists, see their descendents carry on as times change, a great epic tale.
So many different characters, leaders and followers, black and white and all the different other colours that contribute to this continent, "masters" and slaves, 812 pages describing the making of these States. The series goes from strength to strength, one book seems to get better than the last, if that's at all possible.
I think the reason this book has never been that popular is due to the fact that it was published at around the same time as "Gone With the Wind" and covers the same area but a lot more time. If you are looking at anything that goes beyond GWTW, this one goes far beyond. It was one of my favourite books I read as a teenager and I still loved it as an adult. Great story!
From the back covers:
Deep Summer: "Not long before the American Revolution, Judith Sheramy, a Puritan girl from New England, rode a flatboat down the Mississippi River with her family. On the river she met an adventurer, Philip Larne -- cavalier and slave smuggler.
The story of Judith and Philip is one of struggle - the passionate struggle of their stormy marriage, their struggle from jungle cabin to plantation mansion, and the struggle or revolution. Two abiding passions held them together - their love and their dream of an empire in the Louisiana jungle. When their triumph came it was bitter, menaced always by the hatred of both whites and blacks."
Handsome Road: "The Old South was a world of extremes. Ann Sheramy Larne, a hoop-skirted belle, lived among stately mansions and dozens of Negro Servants. Corrie May Upjohn was "po' white trash," living in slavelike squalor down on the docks.
The Civil War transformed their world.
For Ann, the war meant disaaster-the end of everything she had known. But for Corrie May, it was a beginning-a chance to build an exciting new life on the ashes of the old."
This Side of Glory: "Sequel to The Handsome Road -- authentic background, good conflict in ways of life, full bodied characterization, and a thoroughly readable tale. Once again there is the conflict of the "poor whites" versus the genteel, ineffectual aristocrats."