The author of THESE LOW GROUNDS achieves in this second novel a unity the first lacked. Though the story is good, the book derives its stature from its characterization and its portrayal of various sides of Negro life. The center of the stage is held by a group of Mississippi Negroes, ruined by lynching and crop failures, who migrate to Chicago in prosperous days, make a place for themselves, and then succumb to the dangers of first prosperity. Through one family, that of Joe Benson, their friends and associates, one visualizes the tempo of Chicago's South Side. And Turpin succeeds in making his Negroes human beings, in showing them from the inside out -- hating, loving, feeling as whites do.