Almost undiverted preoccupation with sex from first to last characterizes second novel of Margaret Lay's (the first was Ceylum-1947- and checking out report on that makes us wonder why she found a publisher for a second). This is in much the vein- again a story of the deep South in the early years of the century; again a desay gentility, plus earthy atmosphere complete with accents and customs of time and place. The here, Jon Thornblossom varies his day-to-day routine of pulling a living from out seil by renting part of the farm to Sal Dawson, thus incurring his family's disapproval. Then his childhood sweetheart, China Sinclair, comes back after her husband's death. Jon vacillates between aristocratic, ambitious China, willing to pick up where they left off when she jilted him, and Sal, a nice girl, locked down on because of her dipse father. In spite of opposition he is drawn to Sal, sees her often, takes her part, and goes through an interminable amount of mental striptease. But it takes the news that China is indulging in an affair with another man, while pretending she is all for him, that breaks that bond. He rushes to Sal's house, literally tears her clothes off as he'd imagined himself doing- and then, in what seems anti-climax, asks her to marry him...If you like that kind of reading- here it is. Warning- Public Library.