James Burns

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 152

[Plumb] is narrated in the first person and tells the story of George Plumb, lawyer, parson and ex-parson who places conscience before career and suffers an unhappy life. Gee discloses that much of the early life of Plumb and his wife is based on the lives of his grandparents.

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Father of twelve, Plumb in old age recalls his long life in a series of flashbacks, which unfortunately interrupt the continuity of his story and do little to heighten the tale or hold the attention of the reader, partly because they are too frequent. Plumb attracts trouble: disputes with the Presbyterian Church over theology; a sedition charge which lands him in jail; conflicts with his children…. In the twilight of life he could only confess that he did not understand life.

James Burns, in a review of "Plumb," in World Literature Today (copyright 1979 by the University of Oklahoma Press), Vol. 53, No. 3, Summer, 1979, p. 650.

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