Forty odd, the ""ambiguous age"", and the drifting, shifting equilibrium of a marriage is refracted against a firm family frame, while the friction and fusion of three generations -- with a fourth about to come- alternately weakens and strengthens the liens. The Wyeths spend their summers in New England together; Aunt Jane, who is 90, caring for her brother, Gran-Quan; Frances and Sprig, and their children, Betsy and Caleb. It is Sprig who is at odds with all of them, as he spare with Caleb, resents Betsy and her young husband- Tom, and withdraws from Frances. Aunt Jane's death is balanced off by the news- to which Sprig remains indifferent- that Betsy will have a child, and Sprig involves himself- unnaturally- in the slow death from an incurable cancer of a friend. With this death, and the birth of Betsy's child, this period of transition ends and Sprig makes his way back to Frances- and to life..... Miss Sarton, whose talent is feminine, personal, deals again with delicate concerns and concepts- but certainly on occasion here her sensibility gives way to sentimentality. Not withstanding, many women will identify with it and enjoy it.