Welcome to the Matriarch once more. Here is a book that has a sure market in all who read and loved The Matriarch and A Deputy Was King. A certain degree of familiarity with the incidents and characters of those two books is almost essential to thorough appreciation of this book. Here we have twenty-four hours in the life of the Matriarch, on the eve of her 89th birthday, the complete autocrat still, dominating all about her. It is one of her ""bad times"" -- in the vernacular of her family, and this particular blaze of madness culminating in a rather chastened return from a terrific day in Brighton, makes hugely entertaining reading. The flow of reminiscences and anecdotes makes one feel as though breathlessly catching up with family gossip after a long separation. G. B. Stern is at her best, her most brilliant, with the Bakonitz tribe.