But Gently Day

By Robert Nathan
A FLYER in this war. Corporal Henry Arkbester, and a chaplain return to the former’s home to find themselves not in the present, but in the troubled days following the American Civil War. Henry enters naturally into the lives of his great-grandmother and her family, to find that the past, far from being simple, was beset with problems very like those which concern men of today. It is the chaplain who voices the theme of the book: “Men have learned to use air and earth and all metals; to fly above the clouds, and talk to each other across the seas. But they have not learned to use the power in their own hearts. They have not yet glimpsed the marvels which lie ahead of them.” An idyllic love affair gives the book charm; the sights, sounds, and odors of a farmhouse of the last century lend an air of reality to Mr. Nathan’s fantasy.