An English regional novel divides its emphasis between place and characters for the Humber estuary, East Riding in Yorkshire, puts its stamp on its people. Roger, grandson of patriarchal Saul Wellincroft whose Beckbank abounds with the offspring of his three marriages in all their clannish ways and jokes, ""coorts"" Louisa of Stockhouse Farm at Sunk Island but it is her younger sister, Ida, intense and consuming, who weds him and with whom he goes to live in the unnatural, unearthly land. Absorbed in his passion and absorbed by the devouring demands of Ida, who fights consumption to bear his child, Roger is cut away from Beckbank and from Louisa who has gone to work for lawyer Hunstable, but his suicide permits her to come home to care for Ida. Ida's death does not loosen her hold for Roger would die to find her but Louisa recalls him to life. The period, turn of the century, the dialect, and the locals give this shadings of intensity and individuality.