A novel which compasses two generations of a family's life in Nevada ranching and mining country. Part One concerns Kate Hunt, gentle, inwardly tormented, who hates ranch life and repeatedly leaves her husband Dan, taking along their two small daughters, fierce Judy and quiet Laurie. When finally she thinks she has returned home for good, Kate unintentionally finds she has fallen in love with an equally troubled boy, Starr Talbot, who works on the ranch. They run off together, take jobs as hired hands on other ranches, drifting, lost, but secure in each other's weakness. In Part Two, Judy, Laurie and their young friends grow up, marry and become involved in the shifting relationships of the small town to which the Hunts move when Dan loses his ranch. Laurie scrapes along in poverty until her husband, Tom, hits a successful mine; they back the Hunt ranch. But Judy, solitary, hard working, is destroyed by her love for Laurie's husband. Glittering, restless, she becomes trapped by the unscrupulous people she attracts, and finally suicides. All these characters and the Nevada highlands which have held them are presented warmly but a trifle remotely; their relationship to each other in time is the book's chief concern. A sense of inevitable destinies, fatal loves enduring affections, all woven into the pattern of limited, small-town life, is conveyed in tense, thoughtful prose. A vigorous- though somewhat feminine- and generally interesting book.