Robert Batey


So crime and death permeate Noon Wine, but the novel is also a story of family and community. With evocative detail, Porter portrays the lives and relationships of the defendant Royal Earle Thompson, his wife Ellie, and their sons Arthur and Herbert, who mature from childhood to adolescence during the story. As the novel focuses on the young boys' propensity to play with the prized possessions of the farmhand Olaf Helton, his harmonicas, the reader learns how father, mother, and farmhand (for Helton grows to be "'one of the family"') participate in the trying task of childrearing.