The Howard Spring of My Son, My Son is back again in a novel that has much of the warmth, the tenderness, the compassion of that best of his books. It is Ted Pentecost, portrait painter, who tells the story, but only secondarily is it his story,- the tracing of the path from Manchester's lowly ways, to the Cornwall of his forebears, the realization that painting is his life, but that his emotional life is lived largely in the lives of others, particularly in the young people closest to him. It is their story, too, the story of his son, of his sister's daughter (perhaps the most vivid character in the book), and of the son of the woman he loved. There's the feel of the sea and the Cornish coast; there's the mood of lowly city streets as well. The story compasses two wars -- life and death, heartbreak and ecstasy, a wide range of moral values. There is rather surprisingly little feeling of the times,- a bit here and there would place it, but the focus is on people:- the father who would suffer no strictures of the family mores, but who became a religious fanatic; the mother to whom devotion to one man was life itself; the Brimlows, whose penetration into the Pentecosts' lives cost them dear; Iris Randle, darling of the stage; the minor characters, a rich cast, providing good reading.