An evocative, effective picture of the disintegration occurring when prejudicial discrimination and derision uproots the pride of nationality, when economic collapse intensifies existing problems and the family itself suffers. These are the Irish immigrants, some 150 miles from Boston, as some make their way from Irish Parish to the Hill, the climb from shanty Irish to lace curtain Irish, aping the Yankees. Through her grandfather, O'Sullivan, Mary learns the pride of race, the grace of their customs, the beauty of their religion -- and joins with him and her mother in dislike of the lace curtain aspirants, widening the cleavage with the father who hopes to shake off the Parish. Her mother's brothers threaten their respectability; a sister brings disgrace in marrying a Yankee, and Mary's own brothers are destroyed by their unhappiness over family maladjustments and background. A compassionate quality keeps the grimness of the destruction of the family and the depression from seeming overwhelming.