Take when your mother is making a stew. She puts a pinch of spice in it. That's what makes it good. Well, boy, life is a kind of stew... it goes better with a pinch of sin."" His grandfather gave the author this temperate to tantalizing advice. Mr. Boyle is a textbook example of what they mean by ""the most impressionable age,"" because all of the 25 short essays recreate the small Ontario farm near a village in a valley by Lake Huron of his boyhood years. Here, the '20's didn't Roar or Flame. They sort of rustled past and sin was the companionable whisper of cards in the back room of the Commercial Hotel or the glug of some anti-Prohibition whiskey being poured. The Methodists and the Catholics divided the town for souls but lived together in mutual respect -- even closing the same eye toward small pinches of sin. His warm household, the cold winters, the religiously separate but cooperative citizens, the near neighbors and occasional strangers that he remembers are all brought back in a loving indulgence in nostalgia for his good old days. In many ways, this is a Canadian mirror image of Edmund Love's recent The Situation in ushing (1965, p. 76).