Kroll is doing interesting work, and making his Delta town and characters come to life. He somehow cuts beneath the surface with realistic, substantial portrayals of the lower middle class, written with a sympathetic understanding of the people, and their struggle to rise above their caste, and at the same time a searching sidelight on the planter class, with rapidly decaying strength. One never feels that Kroll either patronizes or toadies -- his is keen portraiture, a good sense of story, and emotional values that make his stories memorable. This is the story of Eli Arn, whose people were just a out above the sharecroppers, for they owned their bit of land. And it is, too, the story of Rosalind Cotton, who could never quite emerge from her sense of being an aristocrat, even when she married Eli. And of Harriet, who made life fun to live, but who wasn't going to help Eli rise on the ladder. And of old man Cotton, who rods to his fall. A vigorous picture of the new South.