Mazo de la Roche was an impoverished writer in Toronto when in 1927 she won a $10,000 prize from the American magazine Atlantic Monthly for her novel Jalna. The book became an immediate bestseller. She went on to publish sixteen novels in the popular series.
This is essentially a novel of contrast â€” a story of light and shade, a contrast of Sicilian exuberance with the restraints of life in a Massachusetts fishing village. It finds beloved author Mazo de la Roche in a new vein. Here is a narrative lighter in quality than those which have to do with the turbulent Jalna scene, but no less sure in its characterization; no less picturesque in its detail.