Books: Mystic Joy

THE WITHERED ROOT—Rhys Davies—Holt ($2.50). "You Welsh! A race of mystical poets who have gone awry in some way." But this judgment by a cynical agnostic had no dampening effect on Reuben's religious fervor. Born of a stoic collier and a bibacious mother who starved the boy for affection, he was a child of curious, conflicting emotion. Gleefully he chopped up frogs and roasted mice alive; demurely he followed his father to church, and gradually religion won out—he was hypnotized, obsessed. Evenings, he pored over the Bible, sweated to convert his friend the agnostic. And evenings, there was Eirwen, sensuous, beautiful,...

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