Here is a newcomer -- presumably Australian -- with a rattling good tale, a book that, properly launched, stands a chance for being in the vanguard of important dark horses for 1939. It is the life story of an only son of a rancher who has inherited property and added to it, and who has pinned his hopes on the boy, seeing in him the gifts of his erratic and brilliant uncle, and hoping to give him through education and contacts, the stability his uncle lacks. It is absorbingly told -- this unfolding of a dual personality, his adaptation to environment that is not his own, his deep love for the land to which he is heir, his fear of hidden cowardice, his inability to face reality, his search for a way of freedom. It is a superb story of boyhood in leash; a fine story of youth on wrong paths. The handling of the maturity seems less sure, perhaps, but the characters are so soundly built, the background so deftly interwoven, that the story holds the interest to the end, a tragic end, which yet justifies the rest. A book to watch.