Thursday, November 26, 2009


Like other Yerby's works, Devilseed is fast paced and rich in details. Set in San Francisco in the 1850, we follow the life of Mireille Duclos, a highborn French Creole. The story starts with her life as a prostitute, and moves on with how she builds a better future, until becomes the richest woman, with a husband whom she loves and loves her. Her past, like always, won't let her go. Although her husband knows about her dark past, she never tell her children and this gap is used by her enemy to ruin her. It ends with a happy ending, though. "As in the fairy tales."

The most interesting part for me is when Stanford MacFarland meets the Chinese girl. Yerby wrote about a reassembled house from her native land: "Like any dutiful Chinese maiden, she had seldom ventured out of the nameless alley in Chinatown, [...] on which she lived with her now departed grandfather Li Huan Chin, in a rather pretty little house that had been brought from China in numbered pieces and reassembled in San Francisco." I've never heard this tradition before. There is a funny part when a Cantonese spelled Stanford's name as "Stone Ford Kwack Far Land", which is "barbarous" according to those who have heard it.

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