All of these thirteen stories have previously appeared in magazines such as Commentary, The New Yorker, Harper's Bazaar and Encounter. Jacobson is a South African Jew and the most forceful of his stories are those which convey the alienation, the guilt and the superiority felt by the intellectual Jew in a caste-ridden society that is whiter than white. Almost half of the items are concerned with childhood--adolescent love, a twelve-year-old boy's ambivalent relationship with two black children, a black child's funeral, a Jewish boy's envy of a ""typical"" gentile family. There are stories of young South African expatriates in England emotionally tied to the homeland which sustains them though they reject it. The title story, the most ambitious, relates the development of a young man who comes of age through his religious experience. All in all it's a sensitive and a satisfying collection.