There has been a tendency among certain authors to produce plays and novels with a particular view toward their ultimate adoption as material for motion picture production. Mr. Gilkyson's novel unquestionably has the situation and characters most suitable for use in scenario form. The Freemonts are the people concerned. Martin Freemont is a successful young lawer about to begin a political career which is to see him chosen as the Republican candidate for Congress. His wife is the daughter, oddly enough, of a woman whose selection by the Democratic party as candidate to oppose Martin Freemont complicates the novelist's plot to such an extent that it needs the entrance into the story of a complete gangland set-up to clear the way for the eventual triumph of young Freemont.
The story has speed, tenseness and a fair love interest centered around the gradual accptance by Catharine. Martin's wife, of his ambitions as a politician. The account of her growing faith in the ability and justification of her husband is excellently conveyed to us by the author. It is this phase of the novel which is most interesting. The evolution of the love of Catharine for Martin and the lessening of her regard for her ruthless, sacrosant mother are both given to us convincingly. The portrait of the mother, Florence Willet Carmichael, succeeds remarkably. She is a grasping, hypocritical woman, capable of any actions which might further her own interests. The helplessness of her husband in the face of her "holy crusade" is pathetic.
Were it not for the occasional entrance into the novel of the stereotyped melodrama we have seen so often on the American screen, Mr. Gilkyson's novel would approach high quality. His prose is unflowered, simple and direct. It has the matter of fact tempo of its characters. Perhaps it is the most suitable fashion in which to achieve successful presentation of middle class people, but it is not even remotely capable of the engrossing effect of the style of Sinclair Lewis. Mr. Gilkyson has made a great potential story for Hollywood but he has sacrified quality in the attempt. He is an able writer, but he has obviously created a story for a definite market and his work is stamped with all the limits and defects of that market. He gives a shallow result where he had an opportunity to create several characters of more than passing interest.