Whistle Stop

by Maritta Wolff

Whistle Stop is an unforgettable story of passion, crime and family that provides a gripping portrait of post-Depression America in a small Midwestern town on the outskirts of a large city. Through the course of a punishing hot summer, the readers experience life with the Veech family as they bicker, brawl, make up, and provide titillating morsels of scandal for the neighborhood.

Originally published in 1941, during the course of its five printings, the novel was a runaway bestseller and the basis for the 1946 film starring Ava Gardner and George Raft. Wolff was able to fuse John O’Hara’s naturalism with the trappings of the American crime novel to create a suspenseful and true-to-life portrait of American poverty.

“Whistle Stop had a kind of raw, flaming vitality which it was impossible to resist, plus an uncanny, ironic knowledge of human motives…. It was obvious that Miss Wolff possessed that unquenchable interest in people which is part of born novelist’s equipment, and that her vein of rich invention was unlikely to run dry.”
--The New York Times Book Review, November 1942