H.E. Bates has devoted most of his time in the last few years to the short story or the novella and this new book is scarcely more than the latter- in either theme or treatment. Jack Marsden, an Englishman on holiday, meets Ruth Forbes, a shy, somewhat nervous, wistfully attractive young woman aboard ship. She is travelling with an older woman, repeatedly described as odious and in the most unlovely terms, but at first he is not able to persuade Ruth to leave her patron whose hold over her is never precisely defined but is suggestively unnatural. Finally Ruth does run away, to join him on an island where, through a teasing, tutelary, gently sensuous romance, she finally escapes ... Just a sprig of a story- but there is some seductive scenery and some explicit seduction- unexpected in this writer.