A somewhat unnatural and morbid set up for an unbelievable romance- as the Ratoff brothers, middle aged bachelors, permit their lives to be regulated by devotion to a bed-ridden matriarch, to the routine of a lifelong sharing of a bedroom (in a big old New York house), to the garage that has grown in size and prosperity, and to their Jewish faith as dictated not by their God but by their mother. There is a Mrs. Reagan, nurse-housekeeper, non Jewish, and her fairy child, Melanic -- fixtures in the home. Then the old woman dies -- and a year later, Morris marries Reagan, as he still calls her. And Felix glowers from the sidelines casting a pall over the household, resenting the interfaith marriage, suspicious of what it will be to his brother. Even Melanie comes under his opprobrium. But the all pervading issue is Morrie's will, originally drawn jointly with his brother. On the one side, the need to protect Reagan and Melanie; on the other the importance of securing the inheritance for Judaism. Then Reagan is killed- and Morrie, to protect her, marries Melanis, a wholly allruistie move which becomes impossible as Melanic belatedly matures- and Morrie himself unable to cope with natural urges. It is a strange and somewhat bitter book- and the solution when it comes is melodramatic. Fannie Hurst has a professional competence- but she seems to have lost that one-time ability to search out the human soul.