Past -- Present -- Future -- in an adroit and skillful interplay as Old Rolls Dane, facing eviction from the house that had been the focus of the family for 99 years, reviews those years while at the same time living with reluctant zeal a new present, in which the future identifies itself with young Pax, flier, great nephew of Lark, beloved and lost, -- and young Grisel, great niece of Rolls, American born, afraid to accept the fear that loving Pax entails. There is something of Berkeley Square in the quality of the story. Rumer Godden is however unique in her ability to create that sense of a fey quality and at the same time never sacrifices the vividness, the sharply etched quality of realism. The story goes back to Rolls' parents, -- The Eye typical Victorian father and husband, and Griselda, who belied her name, and hated the bonds imposed by her children (to the ""magic number of 9"" -- Rolls -- who cost her life) and The House. Then there is Lark, orphaned child, reluctantly brought up by Selina, who hated her, but whose vibrant personality dominated even hate and neglect, and won the hearts of two of her foster brothers. There's romance -- a tenous thread of plot, much of it by implications, and overtones and undertones that give it greater depth.