A thoroughly likable book, a good family story and good Americana, in minor scale, which traces a father and five sons from boyhood in 1905 through the war years. Adam Stoddard is a genuine patriarch, confident that his progeny need his strength and guidance rather than either the whip hand or emancipation. The five boys are intelligently differentiated. The war proves a testing round for each, through marriage and through active service, and it brings strain and tragedy to the father who lives intensely through each of his motherless sons. Their stability is endangered through Hester, nymphomaniac wife of one of the five, who pursues each brother in turn. But eventually all pull through. It is the sort of book that needs personal enthusiasm to sell it, but -- with word of mouth publicity -- it should go.