Cloete's best since The Turning Wheels -- this story of the dispossessed Boers struggling for survival centers about Schalk, a rancher of considerable wealth, who is dominated by his tiny wife, Johanna, and their sons and daughters. Sybella, their youngest daughter scorns security and yearns for the frontiers to the north. Simon, a visiting painter, forswears his attraction to Sybella, not realizing that hers too is a nomad spirit. Attacked on a hunting trip by a wolf, Schalk's face is destroyed. Restored to health -- his faceless face concealed behind a leather mask, Schalk, Sybella and her brother, eventually encounter Simon after a trek to the north. The principals are carried forward to a chance at the future with sweep and color and drama.