This first novel presents a raw, raging picture of French Canadian lumbering life, from the jacks in the camps to the women at home, from the Catholic priesthood to the promoters of brothels. It is spring and the men are due in from the logging camps and the small town of La Buche is ready for them with a whole new settlement of whores, masquerading as workers in a rosary bead factory. When Les Dames de la Grace learn the truth, the prospect of a charivari (one 13 years earlier had burned the house, the women and the men with them) tantalizes and arouses them and M. le Cure moves fast to prevent its occurrence. But the murder of the telephone operator, the imminent death of young Claude Gauthier, and vengeance on the owner of the brothel set the women off and the result is a holocaust that does not wholly purge. Untamed in its view of religion without love, of the pettiness of the bourgeoisie, of self deception and hypocrisy, this flays not only the inhabitants of La Buche but the reader's sense of literary license, and some of its ""horrid details"" (to quote Robert Graves) will surely offend. Its vigor and sincerity however have their values.