When an author has allowed herself to grind out potboilers over a span of years, she rarely can come through with a book out of the rut she has made for herself. Consequently, it is something of a triumph for Faith Baldwin to doff her hardboiled sophistication, her play for quick rentals, and publish as fine and as satisfactory a book as this. The story of a man with an unattainable dream:- a chronological novel, beginning with David's father, Josiah Condit, and his setting out with his wife for a mission in China, on a clipper ship in 1861, and continuing to David's loss of his dream of China with America's entry into the war. It is primarily David's story, and that of the three women he loved, of his children, and of a life of adjustment to demands superimposed by his family. There is a suggestion of The Last Adam, perhaps; and at the beginning, something of the flavor of The Sea Witch. All in all -- mighty good reading. Here's a chance to widen Faith Baldwin's market, by adding those who like chronological novels, conservatives, and others.