Books: Regional & Unique

THIS IS THE YEAR (623 pp.)—Feike Feikema—Doubleday ($3).

In this novel, 18 years of life on an Iowa farm are itemized with raw fidelity and strapping lyricism. Subtitled "a novel of faith in the earth," it is also a novel of bitterness over the gutting and misuse of the earth by first-and second-generation U.S. settlers. The theme is large, simple and an incitement to soil conservation. At times the treatment has an earthy swell and eloquence. But Author Feikema works his lesson so hard that before readers reach the end of the book, they will be worn out.

The relationship between the prairie...

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