A subdued, subtly compelling portrait of childhood, of the projection of fantasies and fears, pleasure and pain which shadowed the activities of a boy of nine, Eustace Cherrington. Delicate, apprehensive, susceptible, Eustace had always been under the supremacy of his sister Hilda, older, possessive and vigilant. In conflicting moods of self-assertion and subjection, Eustace finally rebels against Hilda when he runs away to play with another girl, and as a result falls ill for several weeks. In further evasion, this time not deliberate, he becomes the protee of the frightening old Miss Fothergill, receives from her a different -- but excessive -- adulation, and at her death becomes her heir and finds the tenor of his life quite changed. A strange, uneasy story, sensitively interpreted, and written with the English acuity of phrase -- this is a book for a distinctive, critical following.