A congenial, if a touch melodramatic family story of the homecoming of the Lengaard children to celebrate their parents' 48th wedding anniversary. There are Pa- and Ma, self-sufficient on their farm, after years of wandering, loving their independence: Amylea, bossy, rounding up the others, plotting for protecting Pa and Ma in the future by uprooting them and moving them as she thinks best; Jim, divorced but happily remarried to Irish Mary; Helga, wanting money and marriage and insecure in the chance she has lost for both; Anna Marie, who loves Amylea's husband but has married an old timberman; Ingeborg, pregnant and escaping her in-laws; Carl, ""the baby"", who has drifted from teaching into a life of bumming, and Lou, a semi-adopted daughter, who insists on making a play for Jim. Mary is able to retaliate with Carl's attentions to her, and she and Jim are on the outs. Ma, shocked at overhearing the plans for her future, dies; Amylea is badly burned, and Ingeborg has her baby. Anna Marie's husband comes to claim her and the group dissolves, leaving Mary and Jim to carry on with Pa. The family reunion serves as catalytic agent precipitating crises and readjustments in individual lives, as family frictions and diversity of ages produce their results. Potent assembl: of characters and incidents.