For some years MacLennan has been the most popular Canadian novelist, and this is his first novel since the successful The Watch That Ends The Night. Now dealing with an issue which is certainly muffled in this our year of EXPO '67, the most interesting parts of the book center around the struggle between the new separatist movement in Quebec vs. les anglais and the Church and other vested interests. Caught in it is Alan Ainslie, after the death of his wife, trying to alert the limited intransigent Bulstrode (first in line to the P.M.) of the changes afoot and underground: then there's his son, Daniel, a smoldering young activist working against his idealist father and with The Movement which represents all those who ""for 200 years were too poor to say no""; and finally the romance between Ainslie's closest friend and his daughter in spite of the ""fatal arithmetic of their ages."" The political parts of the book are better than the personal which project the struggle between generations but yield to a benign sentimentality. However, in its scrutable fashion, it is a readable, reliable choice.