The time-almost a generation before the Civil War; the place-Cincinnati, and its environs; the people- the Field family, familiar to those who read the earlier books, Now We Are Free, To Keep Free and Brave Pursuit. Westward from Connecticut to the Western Reserve, the Fields had carried their faith in freedom, but in the 1830's and 1840's the family began to split on the Aboliton issue. Cincinnati was a battleground, long before the war. The rights of man, the rights of free press, the antislavery agitations brought bloodshed and violence. Against this background- and a number of names familiar to history, is told the story of the twins, grandsons of old Ashbel Field, one of whom had been raised on a Lonistana plantation, the other under the dour and penny pinching father, Jed. Their reaction to the issue of slavery was inevitably split by their upbringing; the Underground, in which their grandmother was unofficially a link, brought into the picture an unconvincing element, when Lafe lost his susceptible young heart to a lovely mulatto, and vowed to return to marry her when he came of age. But by then, circumstances had altered; Jed had abused his trusteeship over the boys' inheritance; and blonde Angela Durham had come into the picture. Once again Marguerite Allis has presented telling factors in the story of early America; but once again has not quite succeeded in coming to grips with her characters and situations. There remains a flaw -- a kind of amateurishness, surprising after 11 novels. Nonetheless, they fill a certain niche.