Elizabeth Spencer presents a vital, moving story set in the deep South--the Delta and Mississippi hill country. Amos Dudley was a farm boy in the Delta country at the turn of the century until he started working for his brother Ephraim in the store by the railroad. It was an ordinary enough environment in which to begin to feel the strange forces that move a man to set his course in the world.But the forces working within Amos were by no means ordinary. Sometimes cruel, sometimes suddenly tender, they were strong and willful, so that Amos became a man to reckon with--to Ary, his beautiful, plantation-born wife, to the woman in the bayou, to the shiftless philosopher, Arney. Even the rich black swamp soil which he wrested from the forest and gave to his cotton seemed to respond with awe and eagerness to Amos's will. His sensuous, wayward daughter and the man she loved especially felt the full shattering drama of the violence which had evidently been building--building in the fate of a man who, regardless, takes his own crooked way.