The author of weightier fiction (The Town; The Waters of Kronos) has produced a happy little flummery composed mainly of hillbilly jollities and oddities. Chariter, fifteen and able bodied, often pondered on her parentage, for her mam would never let on to Chariter or her little half-brothers, Fox and Babe, who their pap was. Chariter's musing search for her father leads to near disgrace at a prayer meeting, prods her into a close look at an ill starred blacksmith, and finally brings her to the home of local gentry. There, in the employment of gentle Miss Bell, Chariter learns of the only son of the squire, who died in foreign lands, but not before he established some intimate associations in the neighborhood. Then it is in the squire's own house that Chariter is married to Fulliam, a man ""who liked to be on the go."" At the final festival and throughout, Chariter's kin whoop it up; Grandpap tries a bit of arson between swigs; grandmam dictates; the uncles' yarns raise laughter from the hills of Maryland; and there's lots of sizzlin' and fryin' on the fire, while the outdoors is sweet and pure as a primrose. A mite puny but real pleasurin'.