Thea is dead some six years before the novel that bears her name begins. And yet at its close she is more alive- through the people who knew her- than her sister, who slowly changes under the impact of discovery. Greta had put off returning to her Glasgow childhood home to go over papers and sundries following her mother's death, and she plans to pick up some loose ends of old romance, old friendship while she is there. She did not bargain on finding what she found:- that Thea was not the insipid, dedicated, sacrificial old maid she thought her, but a person of immense vitality, making a full and rounded life of her own, despite her enslavement to a demanding mother. She learned of Thea's place in the lives of those who loved her, those she loved, of the richness she brought to days on the ragged edge of penury, of the illusions she held that made life worthwhile. And in the process, self-centered, spoiled Greta took some hard knocks, had to reassess her own values, and to come back to her own life almost forced into a new skin. While the writing leaves something to be desired, the idea and its development has freshness and challenge.