A first novel of unusual quality and understanding, written with strong realism and compassion, sometimes bald, always human, this rightfully ranks with the Farrell genre, though to my thinking, there is better balance and more sympathy. The slums of Brooklyn, and the irish Catholics are the setting for the story of Francis Nolan and her family:- Johnny her father, handsome and shiftless; Katie, her mother, hardening under years of poverty and improvidence; Neeley, Katie's favorite child; Aunt Bleey, a good "bad woman", and most of all, Francis, gentle, shy, imaginative. The roads or lives with her through humiliations at school, loss of face and pride; real sorrow when her father drinks himself to death; ambition for a college education thwarted by having to go to work at 14; her first love affair and disillusionment. Lusty -- sometimes funny -- consistently moving, this is a book for a certain sort of discriminating public, but not for Public Library open shelves. A good job.