Hard to swallow, Wallace's premise gains little conviction from the familiar paces she puts it through. The gravely poetic tone of her dialogue proffers some ringingly good lines, but many more paragraphs of drossy earnestness. Of course the aging Red sees a potential convert in the untutored young redneck, who of course proves an apt pupil whenever his eye isn't wandering to the lady at the laundry tub. Of course there's a betrayer in the house; of course the outcome's painful for all concerned. But the story's life, and any meaning it might have for us today, seem removed and distant. The more vividly the actors inhabit their roles, the more they seem trapped inside a museum case—peasant under glass.