The Andre Reading club: Ralestone Luck
Let me start by saying that this is one of my favorite novels. Dare I gush?

Andre Norton had already written this novel before Appleton-Century published THE PRINCE COMMANDS.

So, it was probably written in 1930 or so. Still during the Depression, when people were loosing all of their wealth and goods, and jobs were hard to come by.

On the surface this is a story of a family split by circumstance. A not unusual occurance, when one family member dies, or is otherwise unable to care for the children. The younger children have been living with relatives, and sent to bording schools. The oldest, is already out in the world, making his living as a journalist.

In this case, the family has a house to come home to. But, as they don't really know each other, there is a level of trust that is missing. And so they return to the family property, to find out who they are, and how they are to make their way in the world.

I'll pull out my copy Sunday afternoon.

Jerrie, cute when pithy
As Irene stated, this was written before TPC. She started it while still in high school, probably at age 17 or 18. Her talent and work ethic were apparent even here at the start of her career. As a life-long resident of Louisiana who spent his formative years in south Louisiana in the bayou country, I can say that her descriptions of scenery, history, and characterizations were spot-on, showing thorough research. At this point in her life, I don't think that she had been to the bayou state.
It has been several years since I read this book, so I had several memory lapses on the sequence of events and the plot twists. It is a good read and for me, the familiarity of location was an extra source of enjoyment.
I will leave the spoilers to Irene et al. Later Kind Folks--Paul:book::bg:

ps, Oh am I:wink: too early?
Frontiers of any type, physical or mental are but a challenge to our breed. Nothing can stop th questing of man, not even man. If we will it, not only the wonders of space, but the very stars are ours
I don't think covering the first chapter will need any "spoiler alerts".

All page references are for the 1984 Dell paper edition.

First - get out your pencils or pens, and go to page 5, about half way down.
"Let hurt, Val?" should be "Leg hurt, Val?" and is correct in the original 1938 version, and the much much later WildSide Press hardcover.

Now some time line items.
Ms Norton graduated HS and started her (few) college courses in the fall of 1930.
So, the majority of the book would have been written around 1928 or 1929.
I did some searching, and the reference to "convertible" on page one gave me a couple of hints.
Cadillac put out the LaSalle Convertible in 1927, Duesenberg had one in 1929, and in the 1924 Ford Model-T had the Touring Car, which seated 4, and could be a convertible.

Val has just spent a year in a hospital after an airplane crash.
"The number of airline passengers in the United States grew from less than 6,000 in 1926 to approximately 173,000 in 1929."

page 6 "the home, a Ralestone had not set foot in for over 50 years."
page 7 "Grandfather Miles rode away in 1867"

So from the dates, the action starts no earlier than 1917.
However since their tennant had "gone to spend a year in Italy." (pg 3) and "Rupert [home] from beating about the globe trying to be a newspaper man, " (p10)
Neither trip would have happened before 1920, an perhaps not even then.

My personal guess is that the "dates" of the action, are a several month period around 1927.

- - - - -

Oh, only one chapter read, and there is already some forshadowing. I never even noticed this on my last reading.

PS: Ignore the cover of the Dell paperback. The only thing that the cover has correct is that the heroine has red hair. The clothing is wrong. The sword on the cover has a guard & handle of a fancy epee, and the blade of a saber. This is not a broadsword from the Crusades. The original edition has some nice illustrations. but there is only a partial of the auto (cover), and I'm not a good enough detective. Oh and the building on the cover of the WildSide press edition (pup 2006) is the wrong style.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * Spoiler alerts * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Well. I've finished re-reading.

I found one more typo. Page 193: "Val dropped into the hole. And a moment later Ricky slid do to join him."
I believe that the "do" should be "down". I'm not used to "And a" perhaps it should have been "A" but I'll check the other editions.

The Dell cover isn't quite TOTALLY wrong. There is a statue of a standing Pan in the garden, at one point Ricky does have a cape on (it's a rain cape), and at one point she holds the sword up by the hilt, however she is indoors at the time. However I couldn't hold up a broad sword point up. Them things are heavy.

I like this book. OK it's one of my favorites. I like the way that there is a happy ending. The bad guys, mob, routed. The 'extras' being the two publisher types providing jobs, and translating, and then they will be gone.

Rupert (age 27 pg93) will be writing, working on the Home farm, and determining how to repair the house and property.
Val (age 18) with a cartoon career
Ricky (age 17) perhaps a future in fashion
Jeems (probably also 18) going off to college.
Charity - continues to paint.
Cinders, AKA Satan, continues to rule the territory he walks across & take prizes as his due (badminton shuttle)

The style of forshadowing is there. And during this reading I found it annoying. But I still enjoy this tale of a house with secrets. Tunnels, Basements, secret panels, history, and family
This book was definitely lots of fun. It's intriguing how many quintessential Norton elements are already in place: strong sense of place, cleverly routing bad guys, search for belonging, & especially a feline who has things firmly in paw.


If baseball is in the air, why not catch it?
I'm still reading through the Hard Cover. Which I might give up, as this will be my second full reading, and severl back & forths to compare texts.

I did spot another title reference (mentioned above). H151 "Lloyds of London". Wikipedia is again my source. 1936 romance movie. Staring Tyron Power. A period piece of London.

MYCode Guide

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