A newcomer among Southern writers- and one to welcome in her ability to see her fellow countrymen in rounded terms, as real Southerners, and the best of them, actually behave. There's no glamourizing of the South, even though the period- the turn of the century -- is too often done in romantic terms by most writers. This is a family story- of the venerated Durel's of Bienville, La. Michel dominates, overriding numerous members of the clan, including his elder brother, whose methods with the land and the people he will not tolerate. Forced to sell his inheritance, Michel takes his liberalism into journalism. Paralleling the conflict between the brothers is the romance of their cousin Felice, who dares to love and marry Peter Boudreaux, Cajun, who is killed interfering in a lynching. There's romance and pageantry- (a touch of melodrama in Peter's ending)- there's charming nostalgia and tranquility, without sentimentality-there's flavorful reminiscing about the past, authentic and colorful. A full-flavored period regional novel, -- an exciting first novel.