Hometown is Cayuta (query Canadaigua?) in New York's Finger Lake country and this long community-continuity spans the two wars (1914-1941) and some three generations of the Wares, first and founding family, their business (groceries) and their interfamilial and extramarital activities. From Polly Ware, who marries Brew (drives him on the side to the more receptive Stella Ronzarra) down through their children, Gar and Mandalay (Gar having lost Dru to an enforced marriage settles for Beth, a ""nun""; Mandalay has a sterile husband, takes a stud to father a child), etc. and one could continue indefinitely through all the subsidiary characters and' auxiliary plots, the various ethnic groups in town--Jewish, Italian, and from the Sew'n Sews to the Kiwannis to the City Council. The characters perform all of life's functions from birth to death predictably but this is what contributes essentially to the book's presiding virtue--recognition. On the whole, however, it's a question of matter over mind--some 650 pages of prosaic prose.