The ""Pennzylfawnish Deitsch"" and their insularity are thrown against the screen of the Civil War and the effects it brings into their clannish lives. Scots Maria, married to William Spangler, watches jealously, bitterly, her brood who escape through the war and through marriage her tight hold, mires into a borderline state when William suicides. It is her favorite, fathering a nameless child, cut off with the Army of the West, later a Confederate prisoner, who eventually brings about a family rapprochement, who is able to make the family name notable again. And his love, Frieda, with her advanced wisdom, is instrumental in saving Maria and bringing unity to the warring Spanglers. A researched, solid novel of time, place and people, whose feeling for the Dutch of Lancaster is as filling as their food.