Miss Herbst is one of those writers from whom one is always hoping that the next novel will strike the divine spark. She has rare gifts, which -- even in this new novel -- are not quite realized. Her situations are fraught with many -- perhaps too many -- of the struggles and conflicts of America today. In an attempt to weave into one pattern, many strands of life, she produces a book that is unresolved, unsatisfying. Jonathan and Victoria Chance, believing passionately in the causes of labor, the farmer, and so on, fail to work out their own problems -- or to make any real contribution elsewhere. The Carsons, the Thompsons -- others in the intricate pattern -- struggle, despair, yield to the tide. But, to me at least, the story is difficult reading, confused, and not integrated enough to carry over.