Remembrance of things past within a rather artificial narrative device and in stylized prose, this follows the childhood and maturity of the five Lowes, their attempts to escape a matriarchal stranglehold. At an auction following their mother's death, the sale of a desk, a clock, a mirror, etc. brings back to each a different memory and serves, obliquely, to brush in their lives. Perry, who went to war and was wounded, gave up music and the nurse he loved to marry Isabel, Isabel who bought what she wanted; Judith, who was to break away to become an artist; Irene, who married Tim with no money but a gift of happiness; Ruth, who was tied to her mother's hypochondria. The indirection here gives this its distinction, but limits its general appeal.