ForeWord Reviews

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A River In Flood

and Other Florida Stories

Foreword Review — Jan / Feb 1999

Known as the grande dame among the pantheon of Florida writers, famous author of The Everglades: River of Grass (1947) and missed sorely by all familiar with her and her work as a passionate environmentalist and writer, Douglas died this past June at the age of 108. She left behind the legacies of Everglades conservation and her prolific writings on life in Southern Florida. The short stories found in this companion volume to Nine Florida Stories by Douglas (1990), originally published in the Saturday Evening Post during the 1920s and 30s, reflect much of the character and atmosphere of old Florida that Douglas loved and shared with the world in her vivid accounts.

Dealing with rich and poor alike, Douglas brought to life the struggles, corruption, frailties and victories of the human spirit in settings from polo fields and mansions to river boats and yachts; from cafes and beauty parlors to islands in the Keys.

The personalities and behaviors of the major characters are described as if one were following alongside them: the rough and salty, always-to-be-obeyed authority of Augusta McCann; the courage of Linda Craddock; the down-to-earth robustness of Cousin Agnes; the painful pubescence of Hugh Nason; the deviousness of Mr. Pinsher; the cold arrogance of Mrs. Moreton; the shyness of Charley Pettibone; and the loneliness of wealthy gentlemen Lawrence Bolton and Hatcher Stevens. With these settings and characters, Douglas wove stories to capture the imagination and interest of everyone under the sun and brought to life an era of Southern Florida that has, sadly, almost completely faded away.

Nelly Heitman