British writer Clark's American debut--an elementary English ``village'' tale in which the good folk are rewarded and the bad guy is (literally) booted into the muck. It all centers around a clutch of house-poor families who have problems--but for whom the sun will eventually shine. Araminta Flood, former cook and char who married artist Riley years ago, loves her husband and his ancestral home, Hanover House. But now this lovingly cared for establishment has a hated tenant, romance-novelist Lavinia. The Floods are up against it. Riley no longer gets commissions; neighbors are troubling; and there's poor, elderly Daisy, who's tormented by her awful son Ralph. He's been blackmailing the old soul because he threatens to tell Daisy's friend Araminta that Riley's granddaughter, beloved Chelsea, is Ralph's daughter. (He'd had a brief fling with Chelsea's deceased mother.) Ralph takes Daisy's last penny. Then there are the Hudsons, also broke in a historic house. Meanwhile, Chelsea finds love with nice Benedict, a workman (whose father is, of course, a respected professor), and Araminta tries to sell the house and get rid of Lavinia. At the close, though, there's a burst of lovely surprises, and Araminta with her mighty arms gives Ralph a toss.... A sunny sudser, with a not especially personable cast.