Reverend Phillip Martin is a pillar of strength and rectitude in the small Louisiana town of St. Adrienne. He has led the fight for civil rights in the parish. One day, about 1970, a young, bearded and unkempt stranger who calls himself Robert X shows up in town for a meeting with the Reverend. When the two men meet, the young man's burdens come crashing down on both of them, and the Reverend Martin is forced to travel back into his wild and woolly past, to try to make some amends. This 1978 novel is a quieter, more measured tale than some of Gaines's other novels, but no less deeply felt.
This report prepared by David Loftus