Marcia Davenport ç The Valley of Decision TEXT

FREE DOC á READER The Valley of Decision ð MONEYEXPRESSCARD ´ Originally published in 1942 The Valley of Decision was an instant success and its story of four generations of the Scott family—owners and operators of a Pittsburgh iron and steel works—has since captured the imagination of generations of readersEx it chronicles the family’s saga from the economic panic of 1873 through the dramatic rise of American industry and trade unionism through waves of immigration class conflict natural disaster World War I and Pearl Harbor In 1945 it was made into a major motion pi This 1942 novel was a Florence King recommendation and she has yet to let me down The Valley of Decision the story of a Pittsburgh steel mill owning family from the 1870s to the 1940s is an epic sweeping saga a bestseller in its day filmed in 1945The book opens on the day the well to do Clarissa Scott employs Irish teenager Mary Rafferty as a maid Mary lives to see Clarissa’s great great grandchildren and over the intervening years it is Mary who elevated to housekeepercompanion becomes the family’s rock settling disputes keeping up traditions providing nurture and support Despite her long term romance with Paul the son and heir this is less a Cinderella fantasy than a novel about the importance of duty and sacrifice – not a very popular concept today The irresponsible 1920s the period with which the book is least in sympathy are covered in a token chapter Mary’s service at home is paralleled by the military service of the men in the book and by the mill’s contribution to various war efforts Some of the book’s patriotism appears simplistic I couldn’t agree for example with the idea that all wars are part of the same war – wars are fought for different reasons in different circumstances and one of Paul and Mary’s conversations struck a note somewhere between jingoism and mawkishness “You see?” Paul said He put his hand on her shoulder and his blue eyes stared deep into hers “Anybody else might think me a sentimental fool ” he said softly “But you know me You really know me I tell you” he said “any time this country gets in a scrap it’s my scrap and this mill’s scrap Highspeed saws and fancy springs are all right in their place – but this mill makes death for anyone that bothers the USA” “Oh Paul I I love to hear you talk that way” Her eyes were wet and shiningBut the final section which shifts the focus to journalist Claire’s experiences in 1930s central Europe contains a powerful anti isolationist argument in the form of a graphic account of the horrors of the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia which followed the Munich AgreementEven without two world wars the book would be meaty there are elopements liaisons feuds betrayals nervous breakdowns strikes and boardroom battles galore While there’s plenty about the history of Pittsburgh and of the steel industry the story ranges much further afield Clarissa’s daughter Constance lives in great luxury in Europe bankrolled it’s implied but never stated by the Prince of Wales and the descriptions of her lifestyle almost drip off the page Constance in a black velvet dinner gown and great pearls sat at the head of the table critically attentive and judicious as perfect soles followed perfect turtle soup a garnished filet of buttery red beef followed the soles artichokes from the South of France followed that a huge pâté en croute appeared with the salad and a frozen bombe masked in golden spun sugar brought – Mary hoped – the formidable meal to a close But no there was the savoury to cope with peppery devilled mushrooms on thrones of toast There was sherry with the soup Meursault with the fish Richebourg with the beef and Mary actually shuddered when Constance helping herself to the sweet said “Champagne Radford The Cordon Rouge”This is a long ambitious work Like the 1947 film The Courtneys of Curzon Street which may have been inspired by this it is set against the background of enormous social and technological change and offers the opportunity to reinterpret the Victorian past in the light of Freudian analysis The Valley of Decision has the faults of its genre It sags somewhat in the middle some plot twists appear contrived and melodramatic and than once moments of crisis are skipped over in favour of the everyday But Marcia Davenport has enough talent to make the everyday fascinating to evoke a vanished world and most of the time to keep the pages turning very fast indeed

EBOOK ☆ The Valley of Decision ç Marcia Davenport

Cture starring Greer Garson and Gregory Peck             This reissue features a new foreword by noted steel industry historian John Hoerr author of And the Wolf Finally Came who places the novel in context as a classic depiction of twentieth century Ameri My reactions to this book were twofold On the one hand the writing is very good and the historical setting of the Pittsburgh steel mills detailed and interesting I had to admire the skilled way Davenport handles a huge cast of characters weaving their storylines together over several generations and making even the smallest supporting players stand out so you remember them when you encounter them again On the other hand the pervasive immorality of a number of characters including some we're supposed to like and root for gives the story a sordid flavor and spoiled most of it for me It's the kind of book where I had to keep reading just to find out how things turned out but not one I'd re read or recommend

EPUB The Valley of Decision

The Valley of DecisionOriginally published in 1942 The Valley of Decision was an instant success and its story of four generations of the Scott family owners and operators of a Pittsburgh iron and steel works has since captured the imagination of generations of readers Absorbing and compl Loved this story of Pittsburgh and the steel industry So many landmarks in this book are still there and the story takes place on streets and areas that I know having grown up and lived in the Pittsburgh area all my life And the story was great too