The sad, sordid life of the mines, with its deadening of youth and hope and ambition for the boy-girl love story of Frank Stewart and Jenny Dewar who went to school together. Jenny, at 14, was to leave home to go into domestic service -- Frank to go to work in the collieries, when work was available, to be on the dole, and to end up bumming and cadging from village to village, losing the respect -- but not the love of Jenny, who sends him home to the mines before agreeing to marry him. Frank, out of obligation, not out of love, is forced to marry a friend of Jenny's he gets in trouble -- and Jenny marries another man who is killed in the pits, dies soon after of consumption. By a young Scotsman, this is a first novel, effective in its simplicity and resignation. Distinctive rather than popular.