Indomitable Maggie McKinley of The Clearance (1974) and The Resettling (1976) is forced to break stride when her middle-class boyfriend James presses for an early marriage, her attraction to a Canadian student she meets on a bicycling tour causes her to doubt her own commitment, and the continuing family financial crisis drives her out of school and into work at a bookbinding factory. Maggie's energetic tackling of every new experience and her conviction that ""I could do with two or three lives all running at the same time. One doesn't give you enough scope"" makes her congenial, invigorating company. But as Lingard herself seems to be settling in for a long acquaintance, this installment is more episodic and less conclusive than previous ones. For those who know Maggie as an old friend and will be pleased to see her persevere.