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Testimony of Two Men - Doubleday, 1968
Some time ago, Taylor Caldwell contended ""Critics don't like me any better than they do Kay Winsor, and it is a mystery to me. We are really so lovable, especially me."" Lovably, in a new spirit of critic-author ecumenicism, we weighed Testimony (3(apple) pounds--without hard covers) and did not find it wanting. Indeed the book runneth over. With uplift--from A for Matthew Arnold to Z for Zarathustra. With sex too--that is acceptable sex. And with medicine, a formidable caseload (schizophrenia, cancer, leprosy) which strong-minded (""too definite. . .to be comfortable"") Jonathan Forrier bears bearishly (he's cynical, agnostic, misanthropic, and out-spoken) in a small town in Pennsylvania in 1901. He has been accused and vindicated legally of the abortion-murder of his young wife (Mavis, ""born to play,"" ""Laughing Girl"" with a ""golden mist"" of hair) while the town continues to pillory him and attempt to drive him out with a new series of abortion accusations. Then there's his love for Jenny (""alabaster and fire"" ""rapt and virginal passion"") who is the stepdaughter of his brother Harald, whom he thinks slept with Harald, and who thinks he (Jonathan) killed her mother. . . . Realistically, this is probably the most popular book Taylor Caldwell has written in some time even though no editor saw fit to use the curette which was stolen from Dr. Jon's cabinet. There is a great deal of fibrous tissue in the close to 700 pages along with the effulgent storytelling.