Books: Mixed Fiction, Mar. 5, 1956

THE SHADOW OF MY HAND, by Holger Cahill (409 pp.; Harcourt, Brace; $4.95), is a juggling act with four themes in the air at all times: 1) an epic of the soil, 2) a love story, 3) a study of an ex-G.I. reorienting himself to peacetime life, and 4) a rough-and-tumble western. Taking the empty-boxcar and hobo-jungle route, Cam Johnson, the novel's hero, beats his way back to the wheat-belt town of his childhood. Buffalo Coulee is Our Town on Central Standard Time, "a rundown county seat started by French voyageurs, half-breeds and Sioux...