A searing hot August is the crucible and catalyst which separates a poor Southern family into separate destinies. This is an interesting enough second novel (The Bishop Pattern-1963) in which matriarch Grandma Boggs who has driven off her ne'er-do-well husband, raised their son Leon and forced him into a marriage with the hired girl, Lolly, now takes over the rearing of their daughter, Langley. Now a cousin, while working as a waitress in a resort, sends her citified, illegitimate (also Leon's child) daughter into this stale-mated family situation. Her arrival, and the simultaneous hotspell, serve to jolt the family out of their fixed habits, with both destructive and regenerative results.... This drama is told in an odd but effective mixture of realism and poetry in which eloquent insights and Cracker speech combine in a tender, believable commentary. Still, the market seems indeterminate.