A Song of Sixpence Author:A. J. Cronin Set in the beautiful western highlands of Scotland, the story revolves around the innocent youth whose very naiveté is a target for the complex currents of his social surroundings -- the bigotry of the Scottish Protestants, the rigid class consciousness. Laurie is an outsider. The only child of a middle-class Catholic couple, he suffers t... more »he pangs of isolation in a staunchly Puritan town.
The young boy's fortess in the bittersweet days of youth is his sensitive and attractive mother, until the press of circumstances separates the two. With his father's death Laurence finds himself launched onto a new phase of forced independence. Into the story enters a cast of relatives who, willingly or out of a sense of obligation, take the boy into their lives. There is the well-intentioned Bernard and his raucous family, the eccentric but kindly Miss Greville, and Uncle Leo, living like an ascetic but hoarding a fortune.
The longings of adolescence, triggered by the dashing image of his cousin Terence and the provocative but unpredictable Nora, are also woven into the thematic scheme. The boy's unsophistication leads him through a comedy of errors which is his undoing, yet which saves him ultimately from a lamentable existence in the aisles of Leo's warhouse.
A Song of Sixpence, enriched by Cronin's vivid childhood memories, reaches toward the underlying truths of existence with a tender and sympathetic understanding of the marvel that is man.« less