A novel of Wisconsin in the pioneering days, early 19th century, told through the medium of a family of French settlers. Chalfonte, the central figure, during his lifetime knows the peak of the fur trade and its decline, and the gradual drifting away of his Indian friends, as they grow in resentment of the treatment by the whites. The death of his wife during one of the Indian attacks shatters his world but ultimately he accepts the new progress, turns to wheat as a livelihood, and goes on. The protagonist is really the country; Chalfonte's figure is somewhat shadowy. There is action -- there is some sensitive writing --but the book as a whole lacks the vitality of the best of the pioneer novels. Worth reading, however, and a somewhat new facet of the American scene.