Mary Horton, nondescript in early middle age, and Tim, Dim Tim, a ""dill brained"" but very handsome young man, are two of life's isolated sports. Starting out as Mary's Saturday gardener, Tim is gradually appropriated into more and more of her life and he learns a little (reading, writing) under her influence while on the other hand he has a rejuvenescent impact on her. More than she realizes until on the wedding day of his sister Dawnie, Dawnie makes an ugly scene with longer lasting reverberations. After all even if Tim hasn't got ""the full quid"" and cannot think, he can feel. With the death of Tim's mother and only too evident wasting away of his father (they were well on in years before he was born), Mary worries over his future until a teacher of other retardates gives her the answer which will alienate the world -- but then they never belonged anyway. . . That's about the size of it -- or is it -- since Colleen McCullough writes from the same continent, Australia, as Joy Cowley in much the same fashion with an aliterary honesty, with a sense of prosaic detail which lends an unobtrusive realism, and with a sentimentality we might shy away from were it not so genuinely felt.