With her dramatic materials always at her command, Kristin Hunter has written a taut, true first novel with much of the sounding quality of a good play. Like Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, it presents the Negro experience in the framework of white society in a Northern city, and it has comparable qualities of honesty and humanness. Miss Hunter is aware and unafraid of the intricacies, inconsistencies, and orneriness of human relationships. Her heroine is a genuine one, driven by her desire to live like the white folks her much loved grandmother ""did for,"" exuberant in her zest for life as she makes her way by hook and crook (working as the relied-upon assistant of a Jewish storekeeper by day, in the numbers racket by night) to a precarious luxury-life built on credit. Her man Larnie, devoted but determined not to be kept by her, tries to save her from self-immolating ambition; so does her loving friend Dolly, and even the mother she repeatedly brushes aside as not having loved her right, begs her to slow down. But Rosie can't: she must have the house in the now degenerating once-white neighborhood to please her grandmother. Only after she gets it does she realize that white folks have roaches too... her early death, the cost of her o'er-leaping ambition, closes the bittersweet story of a life dedicated to a dream. Miss Hunter demonstrates a vibrant, vital talent.