This novel’s North Carolina setting is a bit of a surprise since the author, DuBose Heyward, is strongly associated with that other Carolina–particularly the city of Charleston, the setting for his novel Porgy. Porgy was the basis for Porgy and Bess, the play, movie and great George Gershwin opera.
Angel is set among the mountaineers of the Great Smokies. Buck Merritt is a handsome and daring young bootlegger, and the sweet and beautiful Angel Thornley is in love with him. Angel’s father, a preacher, is opposed to her relationship with Buck. When Reverend Thornley betrays Buck to the revenue officers, Buck is sent away to do hard time. What the reverend didn’t know is that Angel is pregnant with Buck’s child. To save his reputation in the community, Rev. Thornley arranges a hasty marriage between Angel and old Stan Galloway. Angel and her son spend six years with Galloway until the construction of a road through the mountains brings job opportunities for Galloway and a convict road crew that includes Buck.
This is a lyrical novel that conveys both the beauty of the mountains and the values of the individuals who live there. The scenes at Rev. Thornley’s revival services are especially vivid.
Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.