Anthony Trant (1941) and Sioux City (1940) were linked in setting and characters; this deals with a new period and new characters, but is once again a regional novel with a South Dakota background. Downing, to my way of thinking, is better in his depicting the tempo and mood of small town life and people than he is in his development of his situations. The story gives an excellent picture of the barometer of the Middle West -- farm land prices -- during the period of boom and collapse following the First World War. So far so good. The sympathetic picture of the central character. Peter Oliver, who had yielded to his wife's ambitions and become an absentee landlord and a banker, is not as successful. Oliver seems a bit flabby, whether in his romance, his business, or his handling of his family problems.