An essentially popular, though by no means superficial novel of an American family, and of medicine, over a four generation span. Good, solid, readable material, capably handled, with human problems counterbalancing the cavalcade of medicine interwoven throughout. No particular originality nor great distinction -- just a good novel. Opening in 1821 -- the setting Boston -- with the first story that of Josh Chestwick, who sacrifices everything for his profession. Then the next generation, with young Josh, a callow weakling forced into a profession he does not want, and Maria, his sister, pioneering as a woman doctor. She adopts his son, to carry on the tradition, and he becomes successful, though he is patently an opportunist. The next generation produces the first Cheswick to meld the human and the scientific. Through the four generation story, the progress of medicine is traced through the years. A good seller and good renter.