This is a long, lifelike look at Harry Allman, a second generation Russian Jew, and the affairs of his business and his family from 1931 to the near present. A hard driving man,- and there are casualties,- Harry survives the depression in his contracting business, while Leah, his wife, regrets not only his tactics but also that he has slipped away from the faith except for its observance on the high holidays. She is even more embittered by his longstanding relationship with another woman, Frieda, who tries for a new life without him only to face death after a long illness. Then there are the children: Miriam whose chances at marriage dim to the point of a loveless one; Nate who joins Harry in the business; David who goes into research to face a long loyalty clearance and committee smear; and finally Howard, the youngest, the only one to go away to school- Columbia- who has hopes, incompleted, of the rabbinate.... It is this background, as it loses some of its indigenous inflection, its religious liens and family loyalties, which is reproduced with realism and gives the book its solidity, although it predicates a special interest. The scene is a suburb of Boston in the Dorchester area.