Good regionalism with very individual feel for this latest in the Rivers series. The author follows the history of the valley through which the Salinas flows-until it empties late Monterey Day; in so doing she concentrates on the human values that make up the river's story. From the early Spanish Padres, building their missions, converting the Indians; followed by the colonists, the settlements and land grants and development of a California way of life, to the gradual infiltration of the gringes, who intermarried with the Spanish women, becoming Catholics and Dons. She traces the family histories of some of the great landholders -- shows how land greats changed hands under varying pressures. Then the rise of the , the Swiss, the Italians, with the growing indifference and apathy of the old owners. And, with modern history, the earthquake, the importance of bests and the sugar empire, of lettuce as a national commodity, of the lost opportunity of guayule rubber; of the and harvest riots; of this war and the drainage of man power---Concentrated picture of the land and families that made the river's history.