In this modestly evocative little novel about workaday doings in a small factory town in North Carolina, the author bobbles time and distance to produce some fresh surprises. From the neat dollhouses, the row apartments of the fief of Piedmont Aluminum Company, their serene sameness broken only by such blasphemies as old Mrs. Byrd's cudzu vine-covered disgrace, emerge the inhabitants. These are the Glenns, Michael and Linda Earl (sober husband, tidy housewife) and their children; the Kulps, a factory couple with three young ones; their housekeeper Beatrice, of vigorous opinions and soul-spitting ""colored"" humans; lonely Rebecca Byrd and sailor Gene who loves her; Gene's mother, the remote, fragile Elizabeth. Michael now strives for something ""big"" to shake the old bonds of his fundamentalist parents and he joins the Army and is killed in World War II; Linda Earl vaguely reaches back through memories of Granny to find both beauty and terror; Granny, as a child had shivered in the snowy dawn waiting for the Yankee soldiers, now tries to warn, to bridge the generations; etc., etc. This is a tale of pioneer fervor spluttering out into a pale present. The author has talent as already established in her first novel, The Edge of the Woods (1964).