One might call this a rhapsodic saga of a family and a place, formless, timeless, beautifully written. The family is Robertson's own; the place, the Blue Ridge section of South Carolina; the War runs through the book as it did through their lives -- only the wars that are lost are never forgotten, and his earliest memories are those of sitting on his grandfather's porch, listening to tales of battle, heroism and the hated Sherman. The pattern forms as he writes:- through family traditions, conversations with Negroes and tenant farmers, an occasional old letter. He sums up the essence of the book:- ""We are farmers, all Democrats and Baptists, a strange people, complicated and simple and proud and religious and family-loving, a divorceless, Bible-reading, murdersome lot of folks, rich in ancestry and steeped in tradition and emotionally quick on the trigger...We are the Southern Stocis."" Loss glamorous but with somewhat the appeal of Lanterns on the Levac.