A prolific writer who has had ups and downs, has written a rare, almost flaw- novel about a boy and a girl, two children of nature, who grow up with their parents in the green, haunting wilds of Cat Canyon, Colorado. The silence, the wonder, of the rich mountain country-- the god-like eagles in their cyrie; the ageless, scarred bear who pads fearlessly through the forest; the few humans who barely disrupt the wilderness by their presence-- is always evident. The sparse dialogue is controlled; the descriptions are unusually effective; the unique characters are sharply carved against the Thoreauesque background. There is love; there is death; there is birth; all narrated, without a trace of sentimentalism, in lucid spare prose. Aside from showing evidence of the strength of clarity (adjectives are used carefully) in style, Mr. Montgomery proves that he is a fine story teller. The Defiant Heart will (hopefully) receive the attention and appreciative audience (it will appeal to both sexes, though perhaps more definitely to girls) it deserves.