Julian Messner, $3.50.
A big, old-fashioned, Horatio Alger-ish novel with a Lancashire accent and a slightly unconventional ending. Determined to succeed, supremely self-confident and not quite scrupulously honest, Jonathan Briggs fights his way from extreme poverty to the top of the building business in his home town. This rise in life distresses his wife, who has a modest idea of happiness; and the tension at home starts
Jonathan off on a series of love affairs, which always, however, take second place to his dealings in real estate. Mr. Tilsley gets the reader pretty interested in his main characters and he is a vigorous storyteller — but he goes on much too long. A Literary Guild selection.