A tale of pioneering, in north-western Wisconsin in the early 1860's. A conflict in ambitions, when a young couple, the second generation on the new farms, watch their desires come into being. Clarissa has dreams of grandeur, social and cultural for herself and her children, political for her husband, Jim. But Jim's ambitions center around the land and the farm. After Jim's death, the Gelston fortunes wane, and it takes misfortune to bring Clarissa to a realization of comparative value. A good book in the field of regional novels, somewhat better integrated than her last novel. Her leading characters are a bit stereotyped; her secondary characters are better drawn. For rentals primarily -- and for public libraries.