Another practised, nature, sympathetic novel by a sure craftsman -- which despite many elements which are synthetic, melodramatic, is sound enough reading. Briefly it is the story of a twisted character that straightens itself out through the years -- that of Lucin Oldbury who tells the story in retrospect, having reached serenity. Moro, prickly, ambitious, his years of youth were years of unrest and dissatisfaction -- particularly when his only friend marries Catherine, a tiny and lovely creature who fought the resentment and shackles of her family all her life. It is only after many years which bring unhappy marriages, blunders, for both -- and blindness to Catherine --that they eventually come together again and find profound happiness. His story, her story, briefly their story -- and consistently readable.