This is a good, meaty historical novel, with an actual character in Connecticut Valley history as the central figure, a pioneer woman whose annals prove that our national liberty was not won without peril. Peril in daily living, peril in daring to love, peril from Nature, from Indiana, from wars, from pestilence, from famine. Jemi Sartwell's story is not a supremely romantic one; of her three marriages only one was a marriage of love. But there is courage, a certain salty humor, realism and flashes of imagination in the life she made for herself and her children. Famous characters in history crossed her path, -- Putnam, Ethan Allen, the Schuylers -- but the essence of the quality of the story lies in the homely bits about the life and in the minor characters. There is plenty of drama in the story of a fight for the right to lead independent lives, the right to make a colony distinct from Massachusetts or New York, in the section of the Grants that became Vermont. There is something of the story of The Cold Journey. Grace Zaring Stone's fine novel of the Deerfield massacre and the trak to Canada; there is something too of Jennings' Next to Valor in the struggle for separation from acquisitive York Colony. But it is, in the last analysis, a story of a woman's struggle for her own identity, for her place in the Valley she loved.