Of course, Bromfield will sell. But oh dear, how disheartening it is that a man who can write like the Bromfield of The Farm, Possession, The Green Bay Tree, should do the sort of pot boilers he has been giving ""his public"" in recent years. He spins a readable yarn; he knows all the cliches and uses many of them; he writes good social backstairs patter; but to what end? Entertainment of a kind, to be sure, but there is better entertainment to be had under less established authors' names. This is a story with an American background -- a period piece of the days of the robber barons, with, interspersed, the unfolding of a tale of today. Mrs. Parkington, at 84, is confronted with a succession of family impasses. Her never-liked grandson by marriage is on the verge of ruin, brought on by his conviction that those of his ""class"" can do no wrong, and that the trouble lies with the New Dealers; his daughter, Janie, the one shining light of the younger generation of the family, has fallen in love with the young man who unearthed the dirty doings of her father; the sole surviving daughter is far gone in dope and drink; a granddaughter (nymphomaniac of some degree) has produced a cowboy as her current husband. A grand Christmas was had by all But Mrs. Parkington, nothing daunted, does what she can to bring some order out of the mess -- to one end, only, to save the happiness of Janie, the great granddaughter. In the course of the process, her memory carries her back to her own full life, and she relives her childhood in a mining town, the disaster which precipitated her marriage to the incredible and dashing adventurer, Major Parkington, their ventures and misadventures into New York's social , her own schooling in the world of fashion and finance, and the depth of her own love for the man who betrayed her, disillusioned her, but loved her to his sordid end. Told by flashbacks, with all the intimate details that recall King Lehr and The Gilded Age and others of its lik...However, it will sell.