Helen Hull has established a place for herself in the upper brackets of light fiction, well done. This is good ""Hull"" -- a dexterous, subtle portrait of a family, perhaps less sophisticated in the choice of theme and characterization than some of her previous novels, but a very genuine piece of work. She has a gift for getting below the surface, for the delineation of rather tenuous reactions, undercurrents and overtones of everyday living. The family around which the story revolves consists of Edwin and Phyllis Collings and their almost grown son and daughter, a family held together by the understanding, affection and diplomacy of the mother. Into these placid waters comes the threat of storm, when the widow of a man who had been her lover for a passing moment threatens disruption of the family circle. The action in the story takes place within the compass of the days when the marriage is threatened; the background is brought in through skilful handling of memory patterns. A sympathetic, deft treatment of the subject. Should ring the bell for both sales and rentals.