Winner of the Macmillan award in 1945 (Not In Our Stars) writes now of a small Connecticut town and its current problems, brought to a crisis by the resignation of a selectman and the resulting political upheavals of the coming election. In Jesse Arneau's determination to quit his long term office lie the seeds of uneasiness, of fear, of ignorance of the questions with which Branfield is faced, for in the candidates that offer themselves are only the obvious issues, not the fundamentals that forced old Jesse to step down. In the split between the Hill and the Hollow, in the wall between Vangie, Udie of the shanty section and Phyl, Arthur and Kelcey of the elite, in the diehard qualities of Mrs. Robbler and the Whittals who could trace their roots back, in contrast with the city contributions of the Hanfords, Oakridges, and painter Elk- in these are personified the clash between the imminent death of a town, and the possibility of continued life. Through their stories, the novel progresses to the battle of campaign issues and the collapse of an abnormal character so that the climax is grounded in murder. A novel of pertinent problems, which perhaps offers too much in its exploration of all questions, of more thoughtful reading than most current fiction.