After Julius is that sometime thing-- a civilized, casual, intimate woman's novel. Julius has been dead for twenty odd years having gone off to an almost self-willed death at Dunkirk. However his influence, like a slow fuse, sets off the circumstances which occur now, and partly erase his memory as the ineffectual husband of Esme who had taken a young lover, Felix. Past and present converge: Felix returns to look up Esme but falls in love with Cressida, her older daughter. Cressida is in her late thirties and has been engaged in a series of unproductive affairs. Then there's Emma, her younger sister, and Dan, the raffish, romantic poet whom she has just met. And of course there's Esme, fifty eight, but still as susceptible to Felix as she ever was. An uncomfortably close evening, also attended by Cressida's latest lover and his wife, helps to resolve all this, circumspectly to be sure, but conveniently too. Still the tone is emancipated, the touch is expert, and it's attractive to read.