Jalna

By Margaret Goldik

A review of Jalna by Mazo De La Roche

Published on May 1, 2007

Jalna
Mazo De La Roche

XYZ Publishing
$24.95
paper
356pp
978-1-894852-23-4

Mazo de la Roche’s Jalna won the Atlantic Monthly-Little, Brown Award for Best Novel in 1927 and became an immediate bestseller. De la Roche went on to publish 16 novels about the Whiteoaks family. By the time the series went out of print in the 1970s, it had become an international bestseller, with a hit play, a movie, and a TV miniseries based on the saga. Thanks to XYZ, these addictive stories are back in print, with Jalna, and Whiteoaks of Jalna already published, and Finch’s Fortune and The Master of Jalna to be released in the fall of 2007.

Jalna is a large red-brick house in Southern Ontario, and the Whiteoaks family, with the russet-haired Renny as head of the family and arrogant Adeline as matriarch, are constantly tangled in rivalries, secrets, and tempestuous love affairs. Although slightly dated in language, the stories carry the reader along on a wave of intrigue, complicated plots, and characters who stride out of the covers of the book. The fascination continues… mRb

Margaret Goldik is a former editor of the Montreal Review of Books.

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