A long, discursive family novel, the sprawling ramifications of the Legassicks, with all their marriages, provide the cast of characters; the span of the turn of the century through World War II, the period; and England- from the Cornish coast to Manchester to London, the triangle of the settings. And the narrator, through whose not always dispassionate eyes the happenings are mirrored, is Maria, youngest of the Legassick vicarage family, who wryly describes herself as ""universal aunt, receiver of confidences, looker-on at other people's loves"". But her brother Roger, whom she loved perhaps too well, would not have so described her; nor the hordes of nephews and nieces, cousins and relatives-in-law, all of whom turned to her as the one foundation rock of their lives. It is a story without beginning or end that reflects the shift from the utter security of life in the first decade of the century, to the menace and violence and disruption of two wars- and perhaps most of all, the period in between. There is more of Sturm und Drang than in The Houses in Between, but in many ways this is closer to that in mood and handling and in the broad canvas of England's social classes and mores. There's a quiet charm that will appeal to people who liked The Houses in Between better than Howard Spring's other books.