Confession -- deep disappointment in this, the long awaited second novel by the author of the inimitable National Velvet. Not really a novel, but a stream of consciousness examining of the mental and emotional processes of a woman facing the birth of her fifth child, of her relations with her family and household and friends at that time, with the facts of the birth itself -- and with the gradual picking up the threads again after the child is born. It is done with a strange detachment and impersonality --and at the same time it is intensely intimate, searching, biological and psychological in content and implications. It has not been done -- but was it necessary to do it? I acknowledge to having found it boring, unpleasant, artificial in the extreme. At her best in handling of children, Enid Bagnold makes the relations of the children to each other and to their mother convincing. Sharply defined market. Men might find it disagreeable. Women, other than those who hold motherhood as a highly emotional concept, and one involving deeply convoluted mental processes, might feel it overwrought. Nonetheless, its reception by the Ladies' Home Journal readers would indicate that many women will like it.