This short novel is a fairy story, told in fairly conventional fairy story manner, only instead of being set in some mythical European kingdom, it is actually set in Mississippi. Some the characters Welty uses are from Mississippi legend, while others are her own invention. It's all done tongue in cheek as the not so innocent Rosamond, daugher of the innocent Clement and stepdaughter of the wicked Salome, meets up with the dashing and somewhat amoral bandit Jamie Lockhart. Salome is outwitted, Little Harp and Big Harp, the two bandit brothers, the latter only a head, and Goat, Salome's not very bright assistant who is trying to marry off his ugly sisters, and Mike Fink, the flatboatman turned mail carrier, are left behind, while Rosamond and Jamie sail off together. It's all great fun but great literature it ain't.
First published 1942 by Harcourt Brace and CO.
Reprinted 1998 by Library of America