Come Again No More
Touchstone, (Simon and Schuster), Sep 7 2010, $25.00
Before and at the beginning of the Depression, Eli Paint lived for the love of money. Nothing, not a wife, daughter, or his grandchildren touched his heart. When his daughter dies from tuberculosis, Eli comes to the funeral although he is too late for her burial or for her life having forced her out as a pregnant teen. He meets his grandchildren for the first time with Emaline lecturing him for what he did to her mother. Upon retuning to Wyoming, Eli crashes his car. His housekeeper Juanita helps him recover and he declares his love for her.
Emaline marries boxer Jake; of whom she wants to live a lifetime on a farm with him. His personal issues leave her destitute. She leaves him and moves onto her grandfather’s ranch. When Eli’s first wife returns to the ranch with a six years old son he never knew he sired, Emaline adopts the child as her own. Jake persuades his wife to start over in Oregon.
Based on his family’s letters as is its predecessor Sun Going Down, Come Again No More is an engaging early twentieth century Americana that focuses on life during the Great Depression. With a strong cast of mostly the extended Painter family led by the patriarch and his granddaughter, this is a deep look at the struggles with failure, but they never go down for the count. Although at times the epic plot slows down too much, readers will enjoy this strong historical family drama.