Walpole's last book before his death, and though perhaps not one of his most glamorous, a very pleasant one and a book hard not to like. It has a twofold interest, as a story of the adjustment of a marriage, and as a picture of rural England, from rectory to tea table to sewing circle, spite and charity hand in hand. The scene is Garth, when Julius Cromwell returns there, blinded after the war, and married to Celia, much his junior. Celia, pretty, charming, uncontrolled, who wants to possess Julius totally and finds his blindness eluding her, causing a withdrawal which she cannot understand. And there are the villagers, quick to speculate, quick to whisper, particularly about Jim Burke, a wanderer, who works for Julius and falls in love with Celia. A resentful rector's wife, her three children (each very nice), local gossips and confidantes, fill out the story of Celia's breakup with Julius and eventual reconciliation. Smooth, sure, with nice touches of English village life, and a shrewd understanding of people, pleasantly served up. More than dependable -- sales and rentals.