With fine drawn discernment, the gentle precision of place, of personality, which has given Maxwell's writings their literary distinction (They Came Like Swallows, The Folded Leaf, etc.) --this is again a story of remarkable realism as well as charm, of commonplace circumstance and modulated mood. Illinois in 1912, the politics of Roosevelt, the culture of Chautauqua, the substantial homes of a small town's modern solid citizenry, frame the story of a man, his wife and a young girl. Austin King, sensitive, submissive to the beauty- and the petulant pretenses of his Martha, finds the harmony of his home broken by the unwanted arrival of foster relatives from Mississippi, and particularly by Nora Potter, eighteen, whose interests extend beyond the inconsequentials of the southern tradition. Chivalric and vulnerable by temperament, Austin is unable to prevent the hostility Nora's presence engenders in Martha, the tragedy he provokes as Nora falls in love with him, precipitates the gossip of a small town, driving her to an attempt at suicide which ends only in disfigurement...Faultless in understanding, fastidious in treatment, this is assured of both critical approval and an appreciative audience.