An impressive first novel of farm life in Minnesota. Told by Jeppy, it is the story of hatred and fear, bred in four boys by their powerful, dominant father. The youngest, Franz, filled with imagination and music, is the means of crippling Jeppy, and the two are bound together with greater love. Franz manages to have music in his life, marries loyal Tinkla, has his love killed for wanton Liliem, and faces a new life with Tinkla. The insidious gossip of a small German community, the ingrowing hatreds and fears, breeding tragedy, are all presented in cumulative detail as a background for Franz' rebellion and eventual acceptance of the life he must lead. A good solid job, for serious consideration.