Set in the American south of the 1940’s, Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, deals with the spiritual and emotional aloneness of people who are misfits. Biff, the generous Café owner who wears his dead wife’s perfume and collects old newspapers; Mick, the young girl who lives in her inner world of music; Dr. Copeland, the black doctor, whose dream of a better life for his people has driven his own family away; Jake whose forceful communist views make him an outcast; and there’s John Singer, the deaf mute who mourns the lost of a dear friend, and because of his handicap is attributed god-like characteristics.
The author depicts the stark reality of racism, poverty, and the alienation associated with being different. The characters are memorable and the plot, though not fast-paced, is well crafted. A touching story, though not for those who expect a happy ending.