You'll find this a well-told book -- almost too fastidiously observed and translated onto the printed page without losing a nuance or an insight to which Miss Hobhouse, a British, emancipated-traditional, novelist is attuned. But somehow there's something very much missing -- namely it's the kind of book you read waiting for something to happen to her characters or to you. Anna is married to proprietary, impervious, bulldozing Simon with a ""tumultous nature"" and no ethical sense at all -- thus now he is facing charges of both bankruptcy and fraud while going ahead with some new commercial enterprises. Her father is dying in a hospital. The older one of their two children is trying to get away and does so with a deception. His brother, reflective and more moral, is in the background. And she has lived a lie which is subtly used by the author to make possible her concluding rapprochement with Simon on more equal terms. At one point someone says ""I subsist on stray lines of thought"" which is the general effect of the book with its evasive story and skittery dialogue.