The author of the well-received Peace, My Daughters, leaves the specialty field and enters that of historical fiction on a broader scale. For this is a novel of the 17th century, of new for a new country and of their growing into it. John Scarlock leaves his loved in Nottingham to help to colonize New Hampshire; his beloved Joan follows him there, and with him fights the domination of the godly who would subjugate Strawberry Bank. Their only son, Will, when John dies, leaves Harvard to become the man of the family and follow his father's faith in the forests of their home, goes to England to get the commission for masts and to decide in which land to cast his lot. Through the plague he meats Doll and marries her but with the great fire he knows his real love is for Man, and New Hampshire his heart's home. Back in Portsmouth (the new name for Strawberry Bank) it is Doll who saves the mast trade when the godly would ruin Will and who gives him the chance to have his Nancy. The love of a sown field, the stubborn, bitter and unruly men of the old, hard days, the poor little ships that brought them to the wilderness, and the women to whom the men are all -- caught here with simplicity and dignity and a certain poetic magic.