In fond homage, this is a portrait of one of the more forceful figures in the family album, Mrs. Male Van de Venter-his Granny Van, with whom George Sessions Perry was in particularly close if not always harmonious relationship. With her irreproachable rightness, her will to power and overpower, her retreats- only when necessary- into martyrdom, Granny Van dominated successfully -- first his parents, and then at their death when he was a boy, young George. This recapitulates her stormy passages at arms with Kate, the maid, with Uncle Harry, their only other relative, with her neighbor and with all tradesmen. It also follows her sharp interest in medication-particularly laxatives, and later- at eighty- in alcohol as from an unacknowledged nip she worked her way up to a gallon a fortnight. And all in all, this catches much of the spirit of an indomitable she-devil who was hard to live with, easy to love. Nice.