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THE CITRUS BARON. Daniel Cantrell moves his family from South Carolina to the booming area of Brevard County, Florida. His driving ambition gains him the finest groves in the central Florida area. His first wife, Lettie, gives him seven children, then dies in childbirth with the eighth. A year later, he marries Christine, a girl of eighteen. She bears Dan two sons. The union is not a good match. After nine years, it ends in divorce. After the settlement money is spent, he refuses to help further. Her back to the wall, she sells bootleg whiskey. When her supplier goes to jail, the only thing she has left to sell is herself. Her oldest son Hoyt must endure the taunts of the other children. He endures and survives this miserable childhood. He grows up to be handsome and strong with raven black hair, swarthy complexion, and flashing white teeth. He tries his hand at a variety of jobs, even gambling. He has a musician's ear and teaches himself to play the harmonica. His real desire is to become a hillbilly singer. At the age of eighteen, he marries a young girl from New Smyrna. They have one son, Peter. Several years later, she dies by fire. A year later, he remarries, to a girl from the Midwest, Joan. She is ten years younger. Joan's childhood is even more disturbing than her husband's. She was an incest victim. He and Joan have a big family. Their oldest child is Channa. Channa is precocious, a dreamer, a lover of music, a writer. She loves Grandma Christine more than her own parents. Every weekend, she spends with her grandmother. Channa is entertained on stories of old Florida. Her favorites, though, are about her grandfather and his groves. In the twilight hours, they sit out on the front porch swing, singing traditional Christian hymns. At the age of sixteen, while walking down the dusty country road from her home, she meets up with her fourth cousin, Austin Boyd. He's a businessman and twenty years her senior. He offers employment in his office. She accepts, on the condition that he must gain her father's permission. Soon, both are in love, but the situation is hopeless. Austin's wife refuses him a divorce. With great reluctance, he releases Channa. Brokenhearted, she forces herself to move on. Hoyt loses his business. The family moves north to New Smyrna. Channa takes her second job at a local eatery as a carhop. There she meets a string of interesting and off-beat beaus. Some she uses and a couple she falls in love with. Enter Irving Schwartz, a Jewish man from New York, who becomes her mentor and teacher. Irv falls in love with Channa and makes her his mistress. The affair is satisfying until Irv's wife, Esther, is diagnosed with breast cancer. Guilt ridden, he takes his anger out on Channa. She understands and gives him permission to go. With Irv out of her life, Channa acquires employment at a local bait and tackle shop. The owner is Johnny Murphy, a long-divorced man with three sons. She prefers the company of older men. Soon, she and Johnny are an item. He picks up where Irv left off becoming her next "Henry Higgins." They eventually marry and have two daughters. After a decadelong marriage, Johnny dies suddenly of a stroke. Channa feels the need to start a new life. She moves her family up the coast to South Carolina, the home of her father's family. After her oldest graduates from high school, Channa decides to move back to Florida. She goes to work for Disney World and pursues her writing at nights and on weekends. A chance encounter brings her face-to-face with her old flame, Austin Boyd. The reunion doesn't take however. Channa still loves Austin, but she's outgrown him. After Austin's death, she is forced to accept the inevitable. But she's back home in the Florida she loves with her memories and her people. She renews her acquaintance with her third cousin, Austin's mother, Naomi, now well into her eighties. The two women would find comfort in each other. They would have their shared memories of Austin, Christi

Essais et sciences humaines
2 février