A very different type of novel from The Sunlit Field, that refreshing bit of early baseball history back in 1950. This is a sometimes wistful, sometimes violent story of the collision of diverse temperaments and similar ambitions, as Nick Dorn, elderly, seeking the security of a bit of land of his own, normally a bit of a Casper Milquetoast, comes up against Glen Abel, who resented as interlopers anyone who infringed on the privacy of the island once owned by his ancestors. The Dorns had put everything of their own and their son, Tom's, into purchasing half the island -- and the rights to the deserted oil well. And Abel tried- by fair means and foul- to make their stay impossible, to wreck their simple hopes. Then nature took a hand. The Abel well went dry; he blamed it on the Dorn's blasting. Then his oil was deflected into the Dorn's well. And both men stubbornly refused compromise- and fought a feud to a standstill. Tom and Abel's daughter, Cynthia, were victims-and their own inhibitions almost wrecked their own chances for happiness, as the aftermath of war exacted its price from both of them. It's an uneven story, in interest, in handling- but it has its moments.