Miss Steelman, for purposes, accepts the little known Eastern legend's position that joseph of Ari was grand-uncle to jesus of Nazareth. She explores the between the two in an effective and reverent biblical novel. Joseph, at the opening, is living in a wealthy jerusalem , a man of affairs, a citizen of Rome, kind and fair to his and . The affluent Ar see, however, at the memory of his wife's desertion. He holds himself responsible for the death of an son in a mining accident which left him with a crushed and twisted leg. Joseph, husband of Mary, writes to his wife's uncle that he fears impending death. He beseeches his kinsman to consider the future of the boy Jesus, now 12 years old and the family is invited to come and stay in Jerusalem. Joseph of Arimathea grows to love the boy and yearns to shape young Jesus in his own images. Because he fears he is too much alone, Joseph takes his grand-nephew to Britain to build him up and teach him the ways of the world. But after a while the boy insists upon returning to his land and to his people and Joseph must content himself with only news of the boy's doings. Rumors of miraculous deeds come back to Jerusalem; Joseph will not accept their validity. The Arimathean goes to Golgotha to claim Jesus' body and for the deed must flee again to Britain. It is here where he accepts him as the Messiah and it is then that his leg is healed. A moving, well-written work, manipulating legend and scripture into a plausible explanation of the ""silent years"".