This does for a certain segment of New England what The Age of Confidence by Henry Canby does for Wilmington, Delaware. It recaptures a period that is past, a social strata and way of life that is gone. This is a slightly later period -- the period of the ""lost generation"" that grew up during the war. The central family, the ""rectory family"" assumed certain social settings, school affiliations (St. Marks and Harvard, Groton, Yale), established attitudes, moral and ethical standards, discipline, social life, two to three months' summer holidays at accepted resorts, etc. The background is Williamstown -- the tempo would seem slow to today's young people, the activities home made. But what a lot of good times they had and what fine people emerged. Intimate pictures cross sectioning so many people that many of us, brought up in the same period and the same strata of society know that it is hard to dissociate personal interest from general. I doubt a wide interest in the book away from the eastern coast.