... is the ingrate Alric, whose charm and talent as a musician bring him the overweeningly indulgent love of his aging mother who is one of the litter of responsibilities he leaves behind him. Others include his daughter, Eunice, as he is off to marry a fifth wife, debts, and ultimately jail convictions. Not so long-suffering is Hallie, the wife of his brother who has been emotionally and financially sacrificed to the care and upkeep of Alric. As time passes, Ballie, always unforgiving, concentrates on salvaging Eunice no that she can free herself from her father's victimization and marry happily. So that when Alric returns, to die of cancer, he dies alone when his mother precedes him into the other world and he realizes that Eunice no longer returns the affection he might have commanded.... A present-day retelling of the parable in plain terms, this has the conviction of people you might know anywhere and a recurrent situation. It is for Josephine Lawrence's well-established readership which can also compare and identify.