Although Mrs. Boyle's sensibility is continually all-a-flutter and she mixes Jeffersonian Democracy rather mystically with the Southern Virtue of noblesse oblige, her book, nevertheless, proves the best white woman's view of Dixie-in-transition since Lillian Smith's Killers of the Dream. Set against the turbulent years following the '54 Supreme Court decision, The Desegregated Heart presents both a penetrating picture of racial discord and social disruption as they have affected Virginia, and a pulsatingly personal record of the author's re education. For Mrs. Boyle, schooled as a typical ""plantation lady"" and filled with the pride of her class, went through a series of wrenching enlightenments before undertaking her journalistic fight for the freedom of the ""Nigras"", which was, surprisingly enough, met with hot-headed reservations from all sides. Thus we learn not only of the trashy prejudices of white supremacists, but also the hysterical hatred of radical blacks, of badgering letters and paranoiac fears, of a whole community subtly demoralized, bringing Mrs. Boyle to spiritual bankruptcy, and an ultimate salvation only through the renewal of faith in the powers of Love. A vital as-it's-happening-now book.