With this novel Lofts winds up her trilogy set in 15th-century England (Knight's Acre, 1975; The Homecoming, 1976)--undoubtedly to the keen regret of her followers, since, in this trio, she is at her hearthside, storytelling best. As she again takes up the fortunes of the Tallboys--particularly those of stalwart Henry, salvager of the family's tottering holdings, and lovely thirteen-year-old Joella--the criss-crossing destinies and dilemmas of uncomplicated but shaded characters and the free fall of just deserts are kept in rapid movement with an easy, confidential narration. Unaware that they are haft-siblings, Joella and her beloved Henry tangle when he sends her to a wealthy household in order to achieve a suitable marriage and, determined to wed Henry, she wilfully rides home in a blizzard. Meanwhile, some other people with Problems move in and out of the Knight's Acre homestead--a comely widow, a ne'er-do-well brother, assorted misfits redeemed--and there's much ado about witchcraft (two village trials), money, farm management, and inheritance. By the time that Joella becomes King Edward's ward, she and Henry know the blood-knot truth, and together they joyfully plot to outwit officialdom. Even so, some loose ends do remain, permitting the hope that Lofts may indeed plow up yet another field adjoining Knight's Acre--'tis a continuation devoutly to be wished.