In this haunting, often beautiful novel, Conrad Richter writes of the journey of John Donner, who goes
back to the town where he was born, hoping to find the meaning of a deep malaise. If he can only return to the past, he feels
he might be free. But the quest seems futile. The town he seeks lies at the bottom of a great modern dam made by
the River Kronos.
How he is drawn back through the waters of Kronos, Time, into the past forms the narrative of John Donner's classic
journey. He finds himself in his own clear, light-filled world of youth at a moment of double
crisis in the lives of his richly varied family, the Donners, Morgans, and Scarletts. But they
are still young. John Donner is an old man. When he tries to re-enter the old intimate family
relationships, he is rejected as a stranger, even by the boy-he-was as they stand face to face.
Only his mother, from whom he holds himself until the last, cannot fail him, he thinks. Surely she
will know him and receive him into the old heretofore never-failing love.
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