The lineage of an 18th century house and its inhabitants comes down to present times when the war has reduced large gestures and small economies take their place. Roger and Thomas are off in the service; Anne is dismissed from the family because of her ill advised marriage, and Nell, ill equipped, is left to pathetic attempts to keep Amberwell alive. Roger's young son gives her a brightness in life and, although increasing her responsibilities, strengthens her friendship with the vicar and is the means of the end of her long search for her sister. Anne, whose imagination never prepared her for her family's displeasure or her husband's vituperation, achieves independence when he dies, lives for her little daughter and, because of the child's book she writes for her, is tracked down by the vicar to be returned as his housekeeper -- but not a dependent on Amberwell. A placidity here which cramping war years do not disturb and a sense of family ties which, although nearly severed, are strong enough to hold a future of promise. A nice one among her many.