Miss Winston, a newcomer to us, is not a parvenu to the genre having a whole string of soft-covered successes behind her including one ""Queen-sized Gothic"" which this is running to in a chubby 500 pages. All about the misfortunate Havershams or rather Miranda, distantly one of them, who comes to her prominent cousin John's household (is he killing his wife? her dead face turns up on a lily pad) where both John and his brother Reed fall in love with her. But it is Reed she loves although he is not worthy of her in spite of her ""terrible background"" -- and she loses a child to death, Reed to gambling losses, and the proud old house Haversham to the dreadful Rooker. The story covers a lot of ground exclusive of its lawns and camellias and its easier to read than most.