Sturdy, but sympathetic characterization and setting as Vermont's backwoods country at the time of the last war frames the story of strong-willed Sammy Crocker and his attempt to make something of himself. Growing up on Matlin Mountain with a shiftless father, the gone-to-seeds Wicks family nearby, Sammy at 15 goes down to the village and his Aunt Seba and starts the schooling which leads him on to Yale. He falls in love with the minister's daughter, Dorothy, but circumstances force his loyalty to the mountain people and to Lin Wicks, childlike, dependent. Sammy leaves college, marries Lin to take care of her, and when she dies in an accident, is then only free to turn back to Dorothy. Indigenous custom and talk for a story of conflicts and claims, made thoroughly readable.