"The Big Fellow, Macy Donovan, who in Seedtime, the second novel of Vance Palmer's Golconda trilogy, was still in the early stages of his political career, is at the opening of this third novel of the trilogy at the peak of his powers and achievement.
'The novel takes up his story after a gap of twenty years. Now fifty, a shrewd and experienced politician, Macy is about to step into the shoes of Wardle, the Premier, who has departed to a cosy niche in the agent-generalship in London. Apparently Macy's ambitions have been achieved and his desires fulfilled - the premiership, a comfortable marriage, two children - yet there are inner stirrings of discontent and vague wishes for a fulfilment he has never found, and in the background rumblings of a political storm over an old mining venture.
'Macy's sense of frustration is soon awakened fully by the return into his life of Neda, the sculptress, who first touched his emotions in his early days on the Golconda mining field. He feels that with her he can find a fulness of life that he has never known with his wife, Kitty.
'Meanwhile the raking over the ashes of his involvement in the Mount Clutha mine through his connecton by marriage with Vern and Brian Hegarty, two shysters who have hitherto managed to stay within the law by a narrow margin, threatens his political career. Macy calls a Royal Commission.
'A dramatic climax is reached, and the final scene is played out in the Golconda to which Macy's thoughts have often turned as a symbol of his youth.
'This last novel of the Golconda trilogy represents, says John Barnes, 'a final, deeply considered statement of a man who saw life steadily and saw it whole.'" (Publication summary)