Horatio Crawford, head of West Umpton’s premier family, has announced the summer season will be dedicated to memorializing the Crawford matriarch, his daughter. He begins by re-opening his home. Crawford Manor was once a festive place, a social center, but is now a hollow house where Horatio, his son-in-law Richard, and his three grandchildren live their very separate lives. In order to enliven the halls, Crawford plans and executes lavish “memorial” events, but West Umpton’s families are caught in a frenzy of gossip and potential scandal as the tangled affairs of love and politics ensnare them all.
Crawford’s son-in-law, the mopey and reclusive Richard Crawford, finds himself in a disreputable affair with his cook, a married woman known throughout town as a strumpet. Meanwhile, their fair neighbor Claire Covington, committed in society to Stephen Dawes but in heart to Robert Crawford, unexpectedly leaves for Europe only to hastily return with seemingly little rhyme or reason to her actions. Her mother, Margaret, suspects her daughter’s secrets and, along with Mrs. Laura Dawes, they try to help their children find happiness and unify their respective families. Unfortunately, Stephen’s misguidedly idealistic father has plans of his own. In an attempt to bring the almighty Horatio down a peg or two, Stephen Dawes Sr. hatches a scheme to undermine Crawford’s proposed scholarship fund, intended to diversify the prestigious local academy.
Stylistically, essayistic elements, point-of-view shift devices, and stream of conscious syntactical techniques are used to depict the wavering minds and hearts of a cast of West Umptonites. The Crawford Affair will appeal to readers who like an intellectual component to their literature along with some “juice” (read: lies, sex, and secrets).
About Michael R. Adams
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Published January 1, 2012
by Solemn Chanting Press.
Literature & Fiction.