Lenard Kaufman, who had a certain critical reception with his graveyard delinquents in The Lower Part of the Sky and his idiot child in Tender Mercy, has quieted down in his new novel which is much more believable in situation, draws considerable compassion from the story of Jubel Watson, whose wife has just died, and his four children. All who had planned to abandon the old man after the funeral and return to their private lives of private torture, are stayed by the knowledge that he has a little money-particularly Bertram, while the others are determined to keep Bertram from exploiting him. As Jubel decides to spend three months with each, without interference or imposition, they all find his presence a decisive factor in their lives. Bertram adopts a child, for the legacy the child might inherit, but is caught by the hold of a paternity he had never wanted; Helen in love with a married man, turns away towards another who might give her marriage; Jubel, Jr. married to too rich a girl who wants him to give up the theatre, stays with his career; and Eve, married to a drinking Georgia cracker, gains the courage to leave him- at the cost of her father's life. The gentle, unobtrusive and infinite understanding of Jubel- who only wants to know the children who have grown away from him gives this book its special quality, generates a power which is this time independent of the abnormal, the sensational.