Another Sac Prairie story, bringing the panorama of the Wiscons in town up to Pearl Harber. Derieth is at his best when his period and regional flavor are paramount; somehow he seems old fashioned when writing about contemporary moods and happenings. Or is this, perhaps, a New York City point of view? Are we accustomed to the more cynical searchings into small town psychology- or more accent on world problems of racial discrimination etc., so that the petty round of gossip and foul mouthed preachments and strictures on social backgrounds seem to date a story? Of course they go on-in large places and small- and the romance of Rena, whose background was questionable and the banker's son is a slender thread of plot against the whole picture of the town and its characters,- the librarian, the priests, the old doctor, the blind liberal, the banker and his cronies, the principal of the school and the teacher who was accused of being a communist, the gang at the jazz palace, the storekeeper who got involved with a girl on the make, and all the minor characters who built up the chorus of prejudice and censure and criticism and gossip that wrecked lives and made mountains out of nelehills. Authentic- convincing- but overlong.