The events of this well written novel take places in the years 1865 to 1867 in the small town of Bory, in Galicia , and its leisurely, fully rounded style is deepened by its kind view of humanity, which sees greatness in simple people and heroism in their lives. Such a one is Stanislaw Krauze, descendant of an emigre German, whose family has espoused the cause of Polish independence with a fervor that equals any Polish patriot's. His father had sold their prosperous brewery for the ""Cause"" and left his two sons to earn their way by selling agricultural machinery. With impoverished peasantry and absentee landlords indifferent to tiny Bory, crowded by the border on one side and cut off without a railroad to link it to the world outside, their sales are not many. It is Emilia, Krauze's favorite young daughter, and her suitors who center the story for in each young man Krauze recognizes some facet of his own frustration and despair. And it is a bitter pill for the old rebel to swallow when she ultimately chooses Luzinski, the nephew of the absentee landlord, once a revolutionary but now sold out to the forces that advocate the Germanization of Poland. Warm and mature, this is a sympathetic book about a little known country and its history.