"The theme of 'The Prodigal' is the sacrifices that brothers, and
incidentally their wives, are called upon to make for more 'gifted' members.
A touch of genius, real or imagined, condemns these workers to a treadmill from which release seems far distant.
"In the Dowell family pride is maintained only by strenuous efforts of a younger
son, Dane, to which his wife, Hallie, who herself goes to business, gives a mentually grudging assent. Dana's brother, Alric, a concert pianist, contributes nothing in the days of his prosperity to the upkeep of his aged arthritic mother in her decaying mansion....
"...The novel takes its theme from Hallie's resentment at a sermon on the joy in heaven 'over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.' Aunt Lune thinks the prodigals get their punishment here."
-- Robert R. Lane, "The Fiction Shelf," Newark Evening News, ca Sept. 15, 1950
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