After not too much is said and done -- this is one of the less substantial of Nina Bawden's books -- there will still have been very real people under that paper moon in that cardboard sky -- real people who both attract and permit whatever happens to them. There are few expectations for George, an innocent, a compliant non-participant with a ""hopeful heart,"" also a travel agent who enjoys catering dreams for others while life too obviously is passing him by. ""Life"" being Claire with whom he fell in love -- Claire who married Sam who could not father a child -- Claire whom he obliged by so doing in the alluring form of Sally who by the time she's sixteen is as ""old as sin and young as the morning."" So comments her putative father, indulgently; so she appears to George who of course falls in love with her. In fact he finally marries, out of the goodness of his now less hopeful heart, a humorless dental assistant who is the self-chosen victim of every situation to follow which she also imposes on George. . . . Enjoy it for what it is -- a plausible, pleasurable novel with all the amenities which accompany a noticing eye and a feeling heart.