The man who knows British Columbia as few know it has written a novel in which the country, its wild mountains and forest reaches, is focus of the story, almost more than Colin Ensley, to whom the power of nature was an irresistible magnet. Colin, in his relation to the primitive is convincing, from his shy, awkward, inarticulate boyhood, to his tragic, unnecessary death. But in his relation to the people who tried to help him, the people who loved and thought they understood him, the people who were antagonized by his strangeness, he is never wholly real. One senses the conflicts, but not their resolution. The story traces Colin's tortured life, from his worship of Mildred, his teacher, who tried to silence her love for him; through his attempts to fit into a man-made world, his escapes to freedom of the open road, the forests and hills, his rare friendships with others who escaped; then the war- and the lesson he unwittingly learned that it seemed a little thing to kill a man- and finally his losing fight against the march of so-called progress into his woods. There is the feel of the ugliness man-made; the beauty of the wilderness world he loved. But it is here that the appeal of the story lies- not in its strange plot.