One of those enervating five-generation dynasty novels about a British family from the turn of the century on -- and you may be sure that public catastrophes will overtake each happy family. Henry, son of an aristocrat who weds a parlor maid (shame withers in the face of Henry's success in the grocery business) is killed in the Boer War. Son Edward (married to a flibbertygibbet who bore someone else's child and succumbed to a buzz bomb) goes under at Dunkirk. And so on until the two branches of Henry's family join their last leaves. It's mainly a genealogical table bare of any redeeming characterizations or dialogue.