I liked The Stones of the House, published in 1953; I like this second novel, in which Aiken, central figure of the earlier book, is a relatively minor figure, as President of the University where Sam Norris, his administrative assistant, is feeling his way in a new job. Once again this is a thoroughly civilized book; the people of the New England town are such people as any of us might know, their problems recognizable, the situations not over dramatized. Sam finds himself mixed up with a big local Foundation, uncomfortably aware of the personalities and the cross currents involved in its operation, and conscious too of internal conflicts of personal integrity, ambition and concern for the feelings of others. Schoolboy problems of Sam's young son; PTA issues in which his very likable wife takes part; a marital breakup which provides a minor convulsion in the town- all these are factors in Sam's maturing appreciation that ""it takes all kinds to make a world"". A novel of ideas as well as people, this is slated for popular appreciation at a high level. As BOM alternate, it will get the stimulus it may need to override an intellectual flavor well above average.