I liked this better than anything he has done for some time; of his Iowa farm novels, I like it next to State Fair. And it is a book that needed to be done -- and done now. For here is a big slice of America, the America of the farm lands, the farm communities, at the time of the outbreak of war. From a sense of an ingrown inability to see beyond the markets for their produce, the farming folk are jolted out of ""it can't happen here"" to ""it has happened here"". This is the story of the Murdocks and the woman they loved and the community they belonged to and served. Of the instantaneous wingover to an appreciation of their part in the picture; of sacrifice accepted, yes even the sacrifice of staying home on the farm; of petty neuroses set aside of normal patterns of living going on, along somewhat different grooves. It is particularly the story of Johnny Murdock, born to fly, and of how became a hero without knowing it it is the story of Royal Murdock, who hated Johnny because they loved the same girl, and of how chance yanked him from a swivel chair job to the Battle of the Atlantic, where he sank the sub that attacked him; it is the story of Clay Murdock who found more adventure at home than most of the others found abroad -- and who got his men. First and last it is a story of true Americans in action -- on the home and foreign fronts; not of the farm bloc seeking favors in the halls of Congress. A parable which makes a plea, effectively. And a story that is good entertainment, with live dialogue and vigorous people.