A much better than average first novel. An astute and searching turning inside out of a Long Island family, -- the father, a retiring student who has not kept up with the times; the mother, somewhat ineffectual and sentimental and reluctantly aware of her inadequacies; Aunt Ada, the best drawn character in the book, the self-appointed guardian of the home fires, rapidly turning into a typical spinster aunt; the two boys, one the blustering college freshman, the other artistic, sensitive, withdrawn. The span of the story is the Christmas holiday season, when much happens to change the direction of every member of the family. No touch of the amateur in the writing. A newcomer to watch.