A rugged and moving novel of the Irish sharecroppers in the 1860's, living on the rocky, bleak territory of Black Valley. The Kilmartin home is the scene of action, and the community consists of potato farmers and squatters, barely able to meet the dues to the landlord, and in turn to England. The crops fail, the sadistic landlord takes the cattle in payment, rebellion breaks out and the man is murdered. England steps in with a slim measure of relief --again a blight -- famine -- plague. Eventually all die in the valley, but Mary, who had married into the Kilmartin household, and her child. She joins her husband, wanted for the murder, and they escape to America and its hoped-for security. Told with simplicity and beauty. An indictment of a system, but that is secondary to the humanness of the picture. A rarely lovely book, which deserves wider sales than his previous work has won. Try for your Padraic Colum and your Dunsany market, though this is reality not fantasy. The dialect is no impediment.