"To those who saw promise in Ruth Suckow's earlier novels this book will justify their confidence in her ability to write major American fiction."—New York Herald Tribune Books, 1934
"A book that, more than most others of our time, is deeply bedded in the American scene, that could only have been written by an American, and in our time."—Saturday Review of Literature, 1934
"…as tangible and homely as the rich, deep black earth of Iowa. In years to come,…historians of culture may turn to her pages as they turn to Sinclair Lewis's for details of how men and women looked and talked and dressed and lived."—The Nation, 1934
Here is an introspective, poignant portrait of an American family during a time of sweeping changes. Now nearly sixty years after it first appeared, Suckow's finest work still displays a thorough realism in its characters' actions and aspirations; the uneasy compromises they are forced to make still ring true.
Suckow's talent for retrospective analysis comes to life as she examines her own people—Iowans, descendants of early settlers—through the lives of the Ferguson family, living in the fictional small town of Belmond, Iowa. Using her gift of creating three-dimensional, living characters, Suckow focuses on personal differences within the family and each member's separate struggle to make sense of past and present, to confront a pervasive sense of loss as a way of life disappears.