A genuine, if incomplete, religious experience. So much of the book as this occupies--and it is fully nine-tenths--is work of tremendous force and deep insight into the world mood. It is full of divinations about human nature and human relationship that makes one shudder or exclaim triumphantly. The novel, in fact, has so many of the qualities of greatness that one grieves over the infirmities of its conclusion.
was to have his cake and eat it, if he might use so homespun a simile for a woman who had persistently lived for him and in him and then had made clear spaces about him by going away in the dignity of death. He wanted to breathe in the space she had left, and he also wanted to be spared the indecency of recognizing his relief. But Nan, studying the fire persistently, to allow his eyes all possible liberty of searching her face while she generously avoided his, was going on in what was evidently a preconceived task of breaking something to him.
"Yes, she's done something beautiful, and done it for you."
Raven's heart had shrunk so now that he wondered it could weigh so heavily. How could a woman, his rebellious intelligence asked him, manage to pursue a man with her benefits even from the grave? All his grown-up life he had fought them, but still they hung about him him like shackles. When he tore them off from one member--always wounding himself only, and scrupulously sure of never, except by t
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