Yet again (Act of Love; A Helping Hand) Celia Dale's deceptively gentle talent has been applied to people in humble and diminished circumstances. There is a chill in the wind even if you don't quite know where it's coming from. This new novel finds the very elderly Didcots, Arthur and Nelly, taking in a young black boy for a night -- then for keeps as a lodger. He reminds Nelly, almost chairbound with her very bad legs, of the son she lost; he will serve another purpose for Arthur who has a dark den where he formulates a new history based on men with a special power since their name begins with A -- like Adam, or Adolf, or Arthur. He also has a very special taste to be indulged voyeuristically, vicariously. Miss Dale makes a small self-evident point about prejudice in the process of telling a story which is all the more terrible and touching since it is such a fine-grained approximation of human vulnerability. Read it -- you can't not.