Somewhere during the luxuriantly ongoing course of this modern novel about the entrenched South, the way of life is equated with alcohol or cigarettes -- you rationalize it but don't give it up. Certainly that's true of Shelley, first family of foxhunting Virginia, who returns to her native Valley with a Yankee husband who is determined to rebuild the local newspaper and work for the then newer issues (desegregation, etc.). But not Shelley who's color blind to everything except the golden days under the blue skies and the spectacular excitement of the Hunt, now Mastered by the latest comer to the Valley, a promoter-developer called Zagaran. He seems indifferent to his drinking wife and vagrant daughter but not to Shelley who neglects her child and her husband and all that he's working toward until the conflagration/humiliation toward the close. It reads and will be read for all that it superficially offers -- sleek, high-toned melodrama.