A quiet dignity and a sense of the momentous mark Miss Dalgliesh's story of the first months of the Mayflower settlement. In particular, it is the voyage and settlement as seen through the Hopkins, their children- Giles, Constance and Demaris- and Oceanus, the baby born during the voyage. The historical aspects have been well combined with the personal. As the Mayflower and the ill fated Speedwell set out, there is the religious background of the Pilgrims, the reasons for their sailing and the picture of the many different kinds of travellers Alden the carpenter, Miles Standish the soldier. Arrival in Massachusetts is filled with relief and hope and as the settlers face their first miserable year there is a sense of immediacy to their problems. And there are the blessings too as friendships are made with the Indians Samoset, Squanto and Massasoit, and as the settlers reap their first harvest and meet for their first Thanksgiving.