This enlarges on the cross-sectioning of society so much a part of Butterfield 8 and Appointment in Samarra and is the first novel from O'Hara since the former book It provides an intimate portrait of the life and times of Fort Penn (Pennsylvania state and county capitol), of its inhabitants, and of a marriage. The Tates are the focal point of the picture, Grace with her assurance of being a Caldwell, Sidney with his growing absorption in his wife and farm that compensates for always being an outsider. Grace's wild abandon in an affair with raffish Bannon crashes Sidney's world and she is never able to regain his confidence. Polio claims him and their youngest boy and Grace keeps away from scandal for a while after that. But another affair overtakes her although she refuses to let it continue because of the man's wife and children. It is the wife who finally forces Grace to leave her home town forever. The penetrating observation of humans in every day life is scalpel sharp in exploring sexual drives, minds and cultures in conflict, the feel of time and place, the shades of emotional tensions, the physical as well as the mental propulsions in ordinary living. Not a book for any conservative market, and the freedom of the language is a warning to Public Libraries; but a book of definite masculine appeal, and of absorbing interest in the minute details of its believable characters.