Hill floats this Victorian romance--about a poor Yorkshire lass who moves cautiously through new airs and graces and true love--with a fresh dimity charm. Rebecca Redfearn, mourning the death of the good laboring man she always assumed was her widowed father, is now told that her real father is one Giffard Boville of the prosperous village of Kirkby. On her first train trip to Kirkby, threadbare Rebecca meets other Kirkby residents, Sir Charles Gilbank and his son Edward--who hands her down like a lady. And Rebecca is, under the skin, a lady. But the astonishingly rich Giffard, initially horrified, can't openly acknowledge his daughter. So she becomes ""Cousin"" Rebecca, a poor relation under the beady-eyed scrutiny of: half-sisters Julia and Eliza Ann; horrid governess Miss Sutor, who's sure that Rebecca is Giffard's mistress; vermicular butler Ferguson; and an ancient family sponger, Mr. Machereth, who never talks when he can eat. Soon, however, the climate will change. Eliza Ann capitulates to Rebecca's sheer niceness; Miss Sutor is hoist by her own petty petard; Julia, after attempting a frame-up, and fantasizing a push off a cliff, at last looses sisterly love on the night that she and Rebecca rescue Mr. Machereth from a fire. And eventually, savvy as to tableware priorities and couture, Rebecca is happy, secure, in mutual love with Ed; yard Gilbank. But family pressures intrude--and Rebecca fatefully decides to wed handsome vicar Simon, from her old town, who has jilted a rich fiancee for another chance at Rebecca: they travel to a mission in Melanesia, Simon broods on the posh life he could have had. . . yet there's a happy ending, of course, after a spate of genteel suffering. Homey, attractive, and decorously paced.