There's something skin to Daphne du Maurier's story of her own family, The du Maurier's, in this extraordinary portrait of Clare Leighton's mother, who was in her day a writer of romantic melodrama on a vast scale for serialization in Lord Northcliff's papers. Such a character as Marie Leighton could never have existed as part of the American scene; in herself was all the voluptuous exaggeration of her own melodramatic heroines. Her daughter pictures a household that revolved around her mother's whims, her foibles, and the admiring coterie of elderly males. Her deaf husband worshipped her and quietly went ahead writing his boys' books at the cluttered table in the dining room where Marie turned out her serials in unending stream. The secretary was general household factotum, and brought some measure of orderly living in the midst of chaos. The servants, the three children, a nursery regime under stern eye of nurse or governess or tutor, lavish and extravagant living, until World War I brought a halt- and always the admirers still enthralled by Marie's charm. An incredible story of an Edwardian beauty who managed to keep her period intact, despite the world outside. From the superabundance of detail emerges a vivid picture of the woman and her times. There is a lack of that humor that made Clarence Day's portraits of his father and mother an irresistible parody of a period.