This nostalgic tale of a boyhood in a turn-of-the-century frontier town in Texas is somewhat romanticized and softened. Its most vivid sequences deal with John's oldest sister, desperate to be married to anyone before she becomes a hopeless spinster of eighteen. John, the central character, is a somewhat nebulous boy who serves primarily as a viewpoint through which the minor dramas of a limited, talkative small community are filtered. The advent of school teachers, of a railroad along with some Negro railroad workers, cattle rustlers and progress in general, all change and broaden John's outlook, and he ends up by breaking with his past and determining to himself become a teacher. It is a gentle and valid book, full of the feel of such small towns, and pleasant reading within the genre, although the minor characters tend to be more interesting than John is. A recollection, basically, rather than a novel.