This book calls to mind the qualities of Franz Hals:- quiet strength, robust laughter (touching on the bawdy but never on the crude) and a hearty sense of well-being, derived from its closeness to solid fundamentals. It is very different from the average novel of the soil; there is nothing epic nor noble; it is as unassuming as its central character, Dr. Vlimmen, the Dutch veterinary in the peasant country of Brabant. Vlimmen is shy, awkward, reserved, in social gatherings; sure and skilled and conscientious in his profession. He has not had an easy row to hoe. He had married a psychopathic girl who attempted suicide on their honeymoon. The Catholic community would not sanction divorce, and balked at attempts at annulment. One follows Vlimmen on his rounds (squeamish beware!); at work and at home he is a sympathetic figure, honorable, unpretentious, blunt, with moments of lusty indulgence. Good tale.