Emma Davis, head nurse in a home for aged (or as they prefer it ""ageing"") women, is the real heroine of a tender, compassionate story, a novelette rather than a novel. To Emma, the blossoming plum tree is a symbol of happiness that it is hard to credit on a day when three of her charges are being taken away to the State Hospital. But before the car arrives to remove them, Emma has found ways to make their last day a gracious and satisfying one. To old Mrs. Rust, the good-for-nothing nephew is redeemed, recognized as a hero, and a cherished tea set is used for the first time in his honor; to Miss Tiddle and Mrs. Christianson, their delusions are set aside while they become important guests at the little tea party. And to the other people in the Home, an experience to be dreaded becomes an alibi for a gala occasion. Mary Ellen Chase's devoted followers will welcome this tale for its charm, its mingling of humor and pathos, its graceful style. It is not an important milestone in her writing career. But it is a nice book for a plus sale. The setting? It might be anywhere.