A tranquil, sober picture of a small Vermont village -- scarcely warranting the sub-title ""A Novel"". The village is seen through the eyes and big-pitchered ears of Phil, one of a group of four youngsters, in the year 1898, which brings a new school- teacher and a new minister to Alderbury, to the delight of the younger people who find things picking up. But the oldsters sniff out indiscretion; they find the new minister too tolerant, and turn against him when he and the new teacher fall in love, despite his dried, dull wife. The boys make mild mischief -- there's the routine of village life at the turn of the century -- and the story ends with the rejection of the minister by the village, and the departure of the teacher. Cross sectioning village life, with a very slender thread of plot. Limited appeal.