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June Book of the Month selection will push this into upper reading brackets, and its aptness for summer holiday entertainment will keep it there longer, perhaps, than the quality of the book rates. It is beguiling reading- up to the last quarter, when somehow it peters out. But at that, the average is higher than most, in this season of 1948. Once again, as in two of her earlier books, she has taken elderly people as her central characters, and manages to rescue them from the ridiculous by making them mildly appealing. The story involves a quixotic gesture dramatized into a full length novel of adroit character manipulation and situation, and that interplay of humor and perceptiveness which is Margery Sharp's trump card...A chance phrase in a sermon stirs rich and elderly Mrs. Brocken to plan restitution for an adolescent meanness -- restitution which will strip her, financially, and endow a distant cousin, Tilly, with the means to achieve the independence she has never had. But first she invites Tilly to visit her at Chipping Lodge, where she is already housing a young nephew, recently out of uniform and at loose ends, a girl companion, a crotchety old bachelor brother-in-law, and a widow -- presumably- and her young daughter, who are called ""caretakers"". How Tilly puts a bomb under their serenity -- and what happens when she has a chance at security makes for good diversion.

Pub Date: May 26th, 1948
Publisher: Little, Brown