A step up and growth for Anne Meredith, in a book almost wholly for women, but with more substance than anything she has done. It is an agreeable, capable story of a Victorian family, whose head, Edwin Clair, tries to manipulate his wife and children for his own satisfaction, sparing neither discretion, strategy nor cruelty. There are his poised, evasive wife, his five children, his spinster sister, his failure of a brother-in-law, and dominating them all, his biting, bullying grandmother. Gradually the members of the family escape him, through marriage, work, death, and only Jane, his wife, remains under his suzerainty. Reads well -- should rent easily, with some sales.