Mazal, a quiet, frightened child, thought to prevent her widowed father's re-marriage by taking and hiding his wedding ring. A potentially outstanding and touching story devolves into a familiar action/adventure sort of yarn as the ring gets lost when her neighbor Jair's sister sells the shell they had sealed the ring in. The focus shifts to the boy Jair's eventually successful efforts to trace the shell and get the ring back. Mazal's initial, quite real fears of her stepmother seem all too easily resolved at the party which ends the book. A smooth translation from the Dutch, this is the author of The Stone of Peace (1961). Both books rate a second look for their settings rather than their plots. The action takes place on frontier sections of Israel, far from the cities and the amenities. The mode of life is well done, even if the stories don't quite rise to the author's evident capacity.