A first novel, brief, virile, written with definite artistry. A few weeks in the lives of a poverty-stricken first generation Italian-American family, a bricklayer, his wife and his three sons. During the winter months, Bandini is out of work, and takes a job with a wealthy local widow, and is unfaithful to the withered Maria. The eldest son takes a wrong path, he steals a dime for the movies, he steals his mother's wedding cameo for his girl. The second son is an altar boy. The wife is slowly wasting away, while she prays constantly that her husband return to her. A bleak and realistic portrait, unrelieved, told with sobriety and skill, with strong emotional undercurrents. Limited in appeal. -- But Fante can write!