Short Notes: A Rooted Sorrow by P.M. Hubbard (1973)

After being away for five years, author Mike Hurst returns to his cottage in the village where all that had occurred. But what had occurred? That which made him flee the village in the first place. Yes, but what was it? Ah! But that’s the story.

Tormented by something that he chooses not to share with anyone, Hurst returns to where it had all begun. He is discomfited to find that while he hasn’t been able to move ahead, the others with whom he was closely involved, have gone on with their lives. Christabel, the girl he loved is married to the vicar; Elizabeth, the girl who had a crush on him, is working as a secretary in the nearby town; Jack, Elizabeth’s brother and a contender for Christabel’s affections has left town.

Hurst tries to settle in, reacquainting himself with the people, especially the two girls but remains in deep sorrow. Slowly, it dawns on the reader what could be tormenting our hero… The end confirms it but by that time the stretching had made me indifferent to the story and the characters.

This is the second disappointment for me from Hubbard. As he is considered an accomplished author, perhaps I am not reading the right books. Any suggestions?


First Line: He recognised the cottage instantly and in detail, but it did not seem at all familiar.

Publishing Details: London: Macmillan, 1973

First Published: 1973

Pages: 157

Source: Open Library

Other books read of the same author: The Dancing Man

5 thoughts on “Short Notes: A Rooted Sorrow by P.M. Hubbard (1973)

  1. His first two (FLUSH AS MAY and PICTURE OF MILLIE) are good but not great books. Also generally regarded as one of his better crime novel is THE HOLM OAKS. It’s similar to a Patricia Highsmith novel, moreso than any other Hubbard book I’ve read, so be warned. If you like Gothic touches in crime novels THE DANCING MEN is also a creepy and thrillling read. For my money he’s never surpassed the horror of THE HIVE OF GLASS. It’s not only a dark and disturbing crime novel it’s a satire of the monomania of being a collector. As a rabid book collector I recognized some of my less than admirable traits reflected in the anti-hero protagonist. But I don’t think I will ever be driven to kill for a rare book the way he does for the glass tazza he desires.


    1. Thanks John for this info. I read THE DANCING MAN last year and din’t enjoy it. THE HIVE OF GLASS seems nightmarish so don’t think it is something I’ll read right now. The others sound good, especially THE HOLM OAKS.


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