There seems to be a certain wry perspective in novels dealing with the Midwest during the Depression. . . at least in contemporary ones. The author has it together with a sense of good humor. The narrator is pre-teener ""Angel,"" who can boast of a marvelous character as a mother . . . one Maggie who got the job ""by default"" (stepmother) after Angel and sister Kate's father died. Maggie is a fiery redhead, who, according to the local connoisseurs has ""the best damn legs in town"" but she has a head to match and is currently supporting the household by election as county auditor. The income sways with the political scene, a busy one dominated by local prejudices, years of narrow minds honed by the KKK, and misplaced Americanism. The prevalent enemy here in Hoosier Indiana is Catholicism and when Grandpa comes to live and the family converts. . . . There are some beautifully composed scene from the gossips at the drug store to a meeting at town hall to the school yard when the corrupted innocents haughtily rail against the ""Pop"" and his attempt to take over America. But the book is marred by some obviously contrived, sentimental sensationalism--an Italian gangster saving Angel from a depraved drunk--and one wonders what book they came out of and what they're doing here in the middle of a very nice and what could have been very true story. One wishes the Slant of Light had kept its focus more carefully.