This, though fiction, belongs more in the category of The Farm and Malabar Farm for the rhythm, the pulse of the story is so deeply rooted in the pattern of country living. Told in the first person, as an adult looking back on adolescence, there's a suggestion of authenticity, of autobiography that further links it to those best of Bromfield's recent writings. Ronnie is thirteen as the story opens; his dream to be like Henry, ten years his senior, and the ideal of healthy country manhood is dislocated when Henry ""brings home a chippy from the Fair"". It takes Vinnie's own rare understanding to bridge that gap, to make theirs a threesome not a triangle. Against the pattern of life on a Missouri horse farm, in a community where the winning of prizes at the county fair is more important than malicious gossip, the murkiness below the calm rural surface comes to light- and a boy grows up... A revealing study of boy into man- with much that is fine in the wonderful relationship between Ronnie and his grandfather, in the love of the boy for nature, in Henry's simplicity and strength. Not for those readers looking for simply a good melodrama.