Fire in the Morning
A great writer’s first novel of a southern family’s vendetta
Admirers of Elizabeth Spencer's writing will welcome back into print her first novel, and her new readers will discover the sources of her notable talent in this book. Published in 1948 to extraordinary attention from such eminent writers as Robert Penn Warren, Eudora Welty, and Katherine Anne Porter, this father-and-son story revolves around an old southern theme of family grievances and vendettas.
Fire in the Morning recounts the conflict between two families extending over two generations up to the 1930s. The arrival of an innocent stranger flares old arguments and ignites new passions. In Spencer's compelling tale of the half-forgotten violence, the well-deep understanding of father and son, Kinloch Armstrong, the young hero, confronts mysteries of the past. His wife, a newcomer to the area and its legacies, makes friends with a family of traditional rivals. After she is involved in a nighttime wreck and the death of a local man, the past gradually comes to light, and the two families once again become caught up in revelations, hatreds, and conflicts. Spencer faithfully renders the setting--a small, dusty Mississippi town--and the surrounding countryside as it was in the early twentieth century.