A first novel, suggestively autobiographical, in the story of lusty, eager, and unafraid Jody Barker, and how her self- confidence is tamed down by her first emotional experience and maturity. Honest as it may be, her exuberance (perhaps because of the writing) is hard to take. Jody's rub up with her cold, correct mother; her friendship with her father, who dies; her first year at a midwestern university, where her ambition to write is confirmed by a teacher's faith, all lead on to her meeting with Pod, a prospective reporter, with whom she lives. She knows he is ambitious to go off to foreign assignments, so refuses to marry him; he falls ill with T B, she nurses him through and then loses him, and takes it in her stride, and goes on with her writing, alone. A big handful of young girl -- this Jody -- not too appealing a heroine.