A distinguished first novel, set against the background of northern New York state in the years before and during the Civil War, when the old ways of agriculture were reluctantly yielding place to new ways of business, banking and industry. The struggle is dramatized in the lives of two brothers, the idealist and the money maker, who adored each other but quarreled over life and love. In the part dealing with the war one gets, as so rarely happens, a picture of the North during those tragic years. The picture of the stress of change, and what it does to the characters is vividly portrayed. The book might almost be characterized as a modern John Halifax, Gentleman. A superbly conceived story, a man's book primarily. Not easy reading, but thoroughly worth while.