With enough turbulent plot for seven novels, Valley seems as long as the Sunday Times and features a flood of transcript. Major-General Gordon Ballard, famed WWII guerrilla leader in the Philippines and Korean veteran, sends a disastrously honest report back from Vietnam and is asked to retire. A widower whose grown sons have become disaffected from him, he goes back home to the Appalachians to write his memoirs. To help him, he hires a somewhat spineless, alcoholic, burned out writer who is also the son of Ballard's first young love. Together they gain strength from their work. Meanwhile, a shady power company is trying to buy the last virgin tract in the area, evacuate 300 tenants and turn it into a lake for a hydroelectric plant. Will civilization crush the valley's ancient inhabitants? At times relying on guerrilla training, the general joins battle against the encroachments of big business. Although he and his friends lose a largely over-documented court battle, they eventually win by giving the land away to the State. Southern society is depicted on all levels; characterizations are solid but, like the story, more dogged than inspired.