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The Three Black Pennys

Joseph Hergesheimer

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .d heard that women were immediately aware of such emotion. But he realized that she had been lulled into a false sense of security, of present immunity from "the old, old thing," by her own placidity. He did not know when his mother left the room. He wondered continuously when it would happen, when the bolt would fall, what she would do. Howat was hot and cold, and possessed by a subtle sense of improbity, a feeling resembling that of a doubtful advance through the dark, for a questionable end. This was the least part of him, insignificant; his passion grew constantly stronger, more brutal. In a last, vanishing trace of his superior consciousness he recognized that the thing must have happened to him as it did; it was the price of his more erect pride, his greater contempt, his solitary and unspent state.

She rose suddenly and announced that she was about to retire. It saved them for the moment, for that day; he muttered something incomprehensible and . . . Read More

Community Reviews


I had never read a book such as this. The story line was very different. It was extremely long. Stick with it

I enjoyed this book very much. A story of three generations of the Penny males who were considered "black Pennys" because in their ways they all marched to their own drumbeat.

An engrossing novel by Joseph Hergesheimer. Written in about 1917, just after the era of the impressionist paintings. Hergesheimer uses color like the impressionists - - - "...a cataract of liquid steel burst out through lambent orange and blue flames. It poured, searing the vision, into the ladle,