This is a reminiscing sage about a Texas family's rise from modest beginnings to affluence. Previous novels by the same author deal with a broad spectrum of themes from the Bible (Hagar) to beatniks (The Gods of Our Time). Pa, as the title indicates, focusses mainly on a lovable old widower called Pa Randal. In 1910 he floods his farm to create a local dam, which endears him to his neighbors but not to his sons and their wives. He further ""disgraces"" his family when he marries again and sires a daughter. The wife leaves him, and the little girl is ""respectably"" brought up with his sons' children. Pa Randal is a shining hero for these youngsters. Time, and an oil boom, make the Randals rich. The children marry well, but Pa Randal never abandons his old blue overalls or egalitarian country ways. Most of the action in the novel takes place in the transitional period between wars, and the contrasting of Pa Randal's agrarian values with the aspirations of the ""oil rich"" new generation has the ring of authenticity.