The author of A Minnetonka Summer (1960, p. 628, J-243) and others, presents here a believable ""study"" of a small college in the Dakotas where socializing is definitely second to the academic involvements of the students. During the Depression, Helia Singstad was barely able to return to Nidaros for her senior year due to poverty caused by the great drought; many of her close friends were in worse circumstances than Helia, and carried on long-hour jobs while studying. The dry dusty landscape is convincingly etched cut by the author who writes about poverty without giving in to nostalgia or sentimentality. Helia's story is well plotted and paced; her successes are often followed by failures, and failures sometimes superseded by academic achievement. Characters are well developed and the style of writing is more than adequate--worthwhile reading for girls.