The return of the prodigal adopted son to Toronto brings Joe Fried, ""high priest of disengagement,"" smack up against the messianic Olano family streak he had run from. He had also run from Boag, she of the Three Musketeers of college days, whom he had knocked up and whose abortion and permanent scarring are thrown back at him on his homecoming. Joe will not see his uncle Leo, the former Communist who brought the union to the copper mines at Cromwell, until he faces him to bring him out to the peace sit-in headed by Leo's son Kelly. Joe realises he loves Boag who wants to go away with him, but it is Leo who finally wins his allegiance when he dies in the line of fire at Cromwell, and Joe, breaking into commitment, takes a place in the ranks to fight the last crucial battle against the bomb. Stein writes tightly and with a sense of truth that holds his contained story together but will not bring it an expanded readership.