The reserved, glacially calm character of widow Eleanor Newton dominates the latest from Yorke (A Small Deceit, etc., etc.). Eleanor has built a comfortable income for herself with cautious investments and a series of house moves--profitable in better times. Now, living for several years in Middle Bardolph, she can sell only at a loss. In the meantime, volatile daughter Jennifer of London has become obsessed with the idea of revenge against Stephanie Dunn--who's soon to marry Daniel, Jennifer's recent live- in lover--while Eleanor's son Geoffry has married an acquisitive social climber and rarely sees his mother. An irrational act of mischief has brought Jennifer to a possible jail sentence and, for the time being, home to her mother. On a day when Jennifer is pursuing her nemesis in a nearby town, Eleanor is brutally attacked during a robbery engineered by Kevin, the vindictive bad apple of a fatherless working-class family. The air of menace that's pervasive in the beginning here peters out; even the disclosure of Eleanor's dark secret stirs little excitement in what is essentially a saga of traumatic family relationships: in all, heavily introspective, moderately interesting, but uncompelling.