A strange and powerful book, standing quite apart from anything I can recall. The scene is a small Southern mill town; the central figure is a mute, a quiet, tolerant man to whom four people turn to express their individual hopes and beliefs. His very silence endows him in their eyes with a godlike quality; his human fallibilities are shut within his silence. There is a Negro doctor, struggling for the elevation of his race; there is the bar owner; there is an agitator, trying to show the world the injustices of the capitalistic system; there is an appealing girl of twelve, whose gift for music is frustrated by poverty and ignorance. The close of the book is confessed defeat for all. Direct, uncompromising, a distinguished piece of work whose very subject matter will make it almost impossible to sell.