This is the story of one valley in the State of Maine. It is symbolic of many of the circumscribed areas that make up America. In one some external factor may widen its boundaries -- in another a different factor. Here- in the story a Valley girl tells- the factor was Owen Perry, who came to the Valley and loved it and its people, and never stopped feeling that he owed the Valley something. First it was his grandfather, the Elder, whom he cherished; then it was small Althea, whose story this is, and whom he taught long before she wore shoes and went to school. It was other children. And it was the Valley conscience he served- when his rascally father hetrayed them. He went outside, but he never left the Valley, for he made it possible for other Valley children to go beyond the country school, to the Academy in town, to college. And in turn they- Althea, and Wayne, and Dennis, and Ruth made their contributions. The Valley was slow to accept the outside world- symbolized early for them by the French-Canadian lumbermen; then by the Irish. Change was slow, too, but it came, and the Valley played its part. Two World Wars came- and the Korean War. And the Valley was still America in miniscule. There's a thread of romance, tennous and then real. There's a great deal of thinking out loud about America and what it means. There's a good philosophy of living. And somehow it gets across.