This is a difficult novel for the American reading public -- so very English is it in its political and social and economic problems. Interwoven through a really gripping story is the thread of local politics, the meetings and conflicts and achievements and defeats of the local council. This -- to the American reader slows up the action by introducing so unfamiliar a note that it seems to have small place in a novel that is overlong already. The main theme is concerned with a Squire whose adored wife, daughter of a nobleman, was hopelessly insane, whose small daughter was unbalanced and highly keyed, who -- himself -- was caught in the downfall of the landed gentry, and the rush of modernity, Into his life comes the redheaded school mistress -- and plays havoc. The chief interest of the book, however, lies in the panoramic view of the community, with individuals coming out in sharp relief, dramatic and humorous and tragic. The book has undeniable power -- something of the Cronin -- Bentley market possibilities, perhaps. I doubt whether it reaches a wide market over here.