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A leisurely book, somewhat old-fashioned in its rhythm, tracing three generations of an Anglo-Australian family. As an achievement in story-telling, I found the Australian section more entertaining, as Fred Vane achieves his goal of poverty to riches, while his wife lives down the ignominy of her early married life by purchasing a place in the society she covets. But the main story follows their daughter Lucinda, in her marriage to Huge Brayford, outwardly a conventional, easy-going ""younger son"", assuming his wife will decorate his chosen path, while he strays down forbidden lanes. One gets a sense of the mores of English county life, early century; its traditions, its rebellions. Then World War I cripples and disfigures Hugo, and there's irony in Lucinda becoming the one who adopts marital infidelity as a way of life- and that with Huge's closest friend. The breakup of that affair is the most vital part of the book; from then on it peters out in a telescoping of the story of young Stephen, through a poignant bit at Cambridge, on to World War II, pacifism- and death. Uneven in interest- Literary Guild for March.

Pub Date: Feb. 20th, 1947
ISBN: 0548388032
Publisher: Dutton