Social recognition and economic stability come slowly but surely to a family of Latvian DP's settled near New Orleans after the war, in a novel that's as slow and sure as the movement of its themes. Modris and Juris, two teen age boys, and their parents the Zarins, work on the Coleman's cotton plantation. Their trials come when Mr. Zarins hunts unsuccessfully for work in his real trade- carpentering; when the boys are too proud to take the cast-off clothing of Walt and Molly Cameron yet desperately wish to be their school friends. Luck changes when temporary carpentering is found; when Modris and Juris launch a fishing business that strengthens the family's independence and allows a reciprocal friendship with the Camerons. Fine and upstanding, this has a sort of ruminating placidity and a seemingly contrived quality that tends to bore.