.... widowed- at sixty- for the second time, to America, to her Long Island home, to her daughters Rosemary and Lydia, and to her brother- Stephen, is an unsuspected time of travail. For Lady Brace, something of an emotional isolationist who has ""politely nodded, smiled, demurred, murmured her way through life"" now finds that she must participate in affairs where she would have preferred to keep a discreet distance. In the days which follow she reviews her marriages- one violent, one equable; the agony of the loss of a son; the distasteful retreat from Stephen as a young man when he pursued his taste for Evil in the Far East- Stephen whom she now finds physically crippled but spiritually healed through a guru, the Venerable Ananda Thera, who is with him. But it is particularly her daughter Lydia who demands her mother's help, who imposes on her the unhappy story of her marriage and a love affair, and who now wants her sanction as she proposes to escape to the East with a rich old man. In conflict and in recoil, Lady Brace finds through the guru a certain measure of direction- for herself and for Lydia.... Again primarily a woman's story, this prods its pursuit of life- love- and experience with more contemplative considerations (vide her last book, Time's Corner) so that while offering a thoroughly civilized entertainment it also offers a little more than that.