An antiseptic drenching for a feminine novel, this clinically dissects the psychological, emotional -- and financial -- relations of Maida, Lily, Bess and Cissy for some thirty and more years, 1905 and on. For Maida has inherited, on aristocratic terms, the support of her mother and sisters, makes hers the rule which supports them, and, in moving them to a new town, makes their house her own, until fate, in the form of strokes and Lily's jealousy, imprisons her will and her body. Bess marries, against the family's wishes, and is bound by a vengefully demonic husband; Lily, always ""pindling"", has her ""inoperable"" cancer removed, lives to swathe herself in savings and a submission to ill-health; Cissy, the afflicted little sister, accedes to her pre-determined ineffectualness and withdraws as the house is burdened by cruelty and hate rather than dictatorial love. There's sense here, and sensibility, and an unrelenting fluoroscoping of force and frustration which should make a women's club panel of it -- an irritant and a catalyst for indoor intelligentsia. An astringent which brings to light the assayable and the intangible of the spinster's lot.