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Roots in a Parched Ground, Convicts, Lily Dale, the Widow Claire

Four Plays from the Orphans' Home Cycle

Horton Foote


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Classical in its breadth and scope, Horton Foote's nine-play Orphans' Home Cycle begins with a father's death in a small Texas town at the turn of the century, a loss that sends his son, twelve-year-old Horace Robedaux, on an odyssey through the darkest corners of the heart. Caught in the rift between his father's and his mother's families, Horace is separated from what family he has left to spend a horrifying year on a decaying plantation worked by black convicts from a nearby prison. Even more devastating is the reunion with his mother, his sister Lily Dale, and his new stepfather--a reunion that will leave him an orphan in spirit, if not in name.

Within the boundaries of this small society, Horton Foote traces the lineage of loss and regeneration, just as he uses the notes of social hierarchy, economic upheaval, and personal ambition to sound the deeper themes of human struggle and the soul's heredity.

Grove Press, 9780802130815, 330pp.

Publication Date: July 14, 1994