Field of Women in a fairly intriguing story about a village fifty miles from Rome whose women are famed for their beauty. For centuries, the best artists have come to paint them and the tradition still continues, but the village itself has fallen into decline: it is no longer even on the map. The hope of every fourteen-year-old beauty in Roceavetri del Campo is that some Roman artist will come and choose her for his mistress and model--that way she can escape poverty and endless childbearing. To this village an American engineer is sent by a rich American who was born in the village and wants to help the village regain something of its former prosperity: the engineer is to restore the ancient water supply which in Roman and medieval times was plentiful. To do this, he must the support of the villagers, who, while glad to fleece him of his money by overcharging, are none too keen about abandoning the leisure of poverty for the toil of prosperity. A defrocked and now blind priest is one of the engineer's allies in the struggle; a maimed and crazed bandit whom the villagers tolerate and refuse to turn over to the police in his chief enemy. Touches of archaeological remains and artistic history add interest and authenticity to the book: not the work of a serious artist, but pleasant enough reading.