Bermant writes with a warm familial empathy about Scots Jewish communities and here he tracks the maneuvers of a sixtyish widower bent on independence. Whitberg is about the only Jew left in Tulloch Terrace in Glasgow, once ""a way of telling the world. . . you weren't doing too badly."" Now among the Pakistanis there remains only his friend Monty and the one perennial goy, McConnachie the piano teacher. But Whitberg, in spite of his sharp-tongued sister Martha and his daughter Dora, will not remarry, will not move. He loves the very walls which echo past years of ""happy times, the laughter, the naches."" Dora has married a rich man in America and son Ellis is a wizard of finance. ""Mazel,"" congratulates Monty whose son Gerald is going nowhere and whose daughter Jenny works with the disreputable. But then Jenny thrusts one of her cases, young Rusty, on Whitberg as housekeeper. She brightens his house and life but marries Gerald, converts, and bears Monty his longed-for grandchildren. The naches scales tip as Ellis loses everything and Dora gets a divorce and takes a young lover. The deaths of his sister and McConnachie warn of the dark to come, until Jenny proposes to Whitberg--and he accepts. In spite of the concocted close, a pleasure--a naches.