This will better Frank Swinnerton's recent record, but it has the hurdle of the disappointment in his last two novels to take --and cannot quite make the grade of his early achievement in Nocturn... It is a story of a lovable woman, who in her quiet way, controls the strings of many lives, a woman to whom family and friends turn in joys and sorrows. Modern in her angle on life and love, she knew how to save her too earnest elder son from the wreck of a marriage imperilled by his wife's passion for the younger brother, Julian. She know too how to keep 21-year old Christine from cutting the traces. She kept the friendship of Constance who jealously feared her attraction for her playwright husband. A queer, thwarted sister-in-law sought her out. And she proved that blood was thicker than water when her unloved and unattractive sister. Muriel, was accused of murder. The story night have been a quietly tense and likable family story had it not suddenly veered to melodrama, and wound up with some solutions that were a trifle too fortuitous. An obviously plotted story, somewhat mannered in style, with conversations more brilliant than likely --but nonetheless a readable yarn of domestic situations in just-before-the-war England.