A novel that evokes the England, and its family life, of pre-1914, as Gregory Dawson, a script writer, recalls earlier years in Bruddersford, while he is holed up in a coastal hotel to finish a forthcoming film. Recognition of an elderly couple there turns Gregory backward- to the years when, as a boy, he worked for a wool firm, lived in the golden magic of the Alington family, whose three daughters he loved at one time. With scalpel delicacy Gregory relives those bright years, where music, poetry, literature, charades, holidays and family warmth lightened his orphan life. But the light fades, as Alington loses his hold on the wool business, as Eleanor Nixey blights Eve Alington's romance, as Bridget fights with Greg, as Joan misses out on the man she wants. The breakup comes with Eve's death and the coming of the war. Interspersed with this recall are Greg's hours of writing, the arrival of a Hollywood film star, the state of the moving picture business in England during this war, the animus against American studies, and Greg's final break with the industry as he finds a new organization with youth and ideas to join, and a woman who can write finis to his memories... The seductive glamor, with the knowledge of things to come, of retrospect,- traced with veracity and enchantment make up a first half that is the best part of the book. This is Priestly working with an imaginative perception, patterning a real narrative with conventional contrivance, managing to overlay the whole with a glow of the magic of poignant rediscovery.