In this novel, the South looms dark and ominous in the background with its Biblical rhetoric, its conflict between a tradition of religious fundamentalism and modern scepticism, racial contrasts and the industrialisation of a rural society. But more than a novel of time and place, it is the story of a tormented family submerged in infidelity and driven by a vengeful love that is blocked, hurt and perverted. Peyton Loftis, who frantically needs a husband precisely because she loves her father; the decadent Milton, whose infidelity has made his marriage no more than a stage drama; and Helen, his wife, who loves only what she can control - her crippled daughter Maudie, or the childish part of her husband. This extraordinarily powerful novel is the portrait of a family who, in the words of Sir Thomas Browne in his URN BURIAL, 'all lie down in darkness'.
In the blaze of a Carolina summer, among the poison ivy and loblolly pines, eight Marines are killed almost casually by misfired mortar shells. Deciding that his battalion has been “doping off”, Colonel Templeton calls for a 36-mile forced march to inculcate discipline. The Long March is a searing account of this ferocious ordeal—and of the two officers who resist.