In the Fire of Spring

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

IN THE FIRE OF SPRING continues the saga of the Grimes and Talcott families begun in THE WINGS OF THE MORNING. The Connecticut town of Pequot Landing echoes as the Grimes, fierce believers in the efficacy of slavery, and the Talcotts, ardent abolitionists, clash once again. Sparks fly as the Talcotts purchase and free a runaway slave girl. Uncertain what to do with Rose, they decide to begin a school for young colored girls, much to the consternation of certain citizens.

Adding to these glowing embers is the unexpected return of the brigand, Captain Sinjin Grimes, who has been in self-imposed exile in China. In true pirate fashion, he eloped with the lovely Aurora Talcott and gave her a child before she was rescued and hurriedly married to an English lord. Unable to bear his loss, Sinjin recklessly threw himself into the dangerous politics and opium trade of the Far East.

The flames leap higher as Rose Mills encounters a drunken Captain Grimes the eve of his homecoming and enters into a sexual liaison with him. And Lady Sheffeld, the former Aurora Talcott, arrives at Pequot Landing, bereft of husband and child, distraught with guilt for having married Lord Henry only to give her child a name, and sick with shame for deceiving him.

In this masterful story, Tryon has captured the spirit and the life of his characters, revealing their strengths and weaknesses, their joys and tragedies, their hopes and fears, creating a tale that surrounds the reader with its riches.