This long, refreshingly flamboyant novel has a background in the Bahamas for its spreading-oaks-around-the-manor, three generation historical tale, and its prose has the bite of 100 proof rum lightly spiked with Coke. Ronald Cameron, a Carolinian loyalist, decides he can't stand the tatterdemalion democrats who won the War for Independence, and he takes his family, along with every brick of his manor, to the island of Exuma in the Bahamas. The story develops in chronicle fashion as Cameron sires and squires and builds a plantation that eventually doesn't seem worth the effort. Each of his children (one conceived in adultery) produce children, who produce children, and none are scanted, nor are any of the many characters-- the women are fierce and forceful and the men manly. Wilder is a lavish, smooth storyteller and his panoramic entertainment is energetic from start to finish and popular in its appeal.