In two generations, personalities repeat themselves, and resultant circumstances bear odd resemblance to each other. First there is Cleve, who dominated the gentler John, but who eventually left town to give John a free berth, and who never married. Then there are Joe Tom and Jesse, sons of John:- Joe Tom is like Cleve, Jesse like his father, worshipping Joe Tom, taking the lead from him in all things, until he falls violently in love. It is then Joe Tom who helps him to marriage, helps to loosen the bonds with his possessive mother; and Joe Tom then finds himself victim of love for his brother's wife. There's the conflict once again -- and once again the gentler man turns momentarily violent, and wine. Joe Tom leaves town -- and Jesse stays, to regain the love of Chine, and make a family. Contemporary South, in a story of indescribable power in portrayal of mounting tension of human emotions.