Here is the ""Country Lawyer's family"", in the upper New York State town of Phelps, and through them a pattern of the good old days, old customs, old standards, the molding and sustaining of traditions more often than not neglected today. There's nothing of sentimental nostalgia but a wholesome appreciation of sturdy American family life and the whys and wherefores of the customs of the growing country. There's an amazing sense of the details that fills out the sense of authenticity. Older readers will thoroughly enjoy the flavor of their own half-forgotten youth, younger readers will find it amusing and enlightening. Everyone will like the lawyer father, the deaf old grandmother who secretly burned the cards, the mother with her religious bias and fervor in the cause of temperance, and the eight children of varying temperaments provide a good cross section of life. Uneven in quality and interest but worthwhile.